Reviews for month


Most Magnificent Thing
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Spires, Ashley
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 02, 2014
Garrard, Thom
A girl imagines a wonderful thing that she could create with the help of her assistant – her dog. Although she has all the pieces and knows just how it should look and work, it comes out all wrong. She gives it another try, but the result is no better. Her frustration grows as each successive attempt goes awry. She is ready to quit when her dog suggests a walk. When she returns, her mood has improved and she realizes that each wrong thing she made actually contained some parts of her vision. When she puts those parts together, the result isn’t perfect, but it is magnificent. The clever, digital illustrations add a spot of humor and effectively portray the girl’s emotions, while perfectly balancing the few lines of text on each page. The perseverance and problem-solving approach of the girl provides a powerful message for kids. Start with a vision. Give it a try. Look at what’s right about an attempted solution, as well as what’s wrong. Keep trying. When you get frustrated, take a break. Later take a fresh look at the situation. Find the good parts of your attempts and put them together. This describes reality in many professions, and this book gives kids a way to think about the process.
From African Plant To Vaccine Preservation
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Yomtov, Nel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 02, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "21st Century Skills Innovation Library" series. The 32 pages describe how biomimicry is used to develop vaccines that can travel well, especially to places without refrigeration. The book explains in simple, concise language how vaccines were discovered, how they are used to day, and how the resurrection plant was used to discover trehalose, The book also explores the future of this innovation. The final chapter contains paragraphs about scientific innovators who helped move this research along. Color, captioned photos are found on every page. Call-out boxes give the reader more information to help with the understanding of concepts. The book contains the typical non-fiction features: table of contents, index, glossary (words are bolded in text), author information, and bibliography. A strong purchase if you have a need for this topic.
No-Sneeze Pet
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Gallagher, Diana G
Puglisi, Adriana Isabel Juarez
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 02, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
Emma doesn't have a pet but her friends Kyle and Mia are helping her to find one that doesn't make her mom sneeze. Not just any pet like a snake, bird, iguana or a fish but one that she can cuddle. The kids are running out of ideas when a hamster is suggested by Mr. Bernard. Emma selects a hamster and calls him Bernie. Problem solving at its best. Glossary, tips for caring for a hamster, discussion questions, writing prompts, and website continuation at www.facthound.com. Positive tale of what friends can do to help each other.
Velveteen Rabbit
Doubleday [Doubleday]
Williams, Margery
Nicholson, William
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 02, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
Margery Williams classic tale about the Velveteen Rabbit who was given to a boy one Christmas. He was stuffed with sawdust and snubbed by the other toys but one was kind to him. Skin Horse tells him that to become Real takes a long time but once you are real you can't become unreal again. One night the nanny gives Rabbit to the boy at bedtime. He sleeps with the boy as he has become his favorite toy and doesn't notice how shabby he had become. The Bunny hears the boy sat that "he isn't a toy. He's REAL!" One day he is left in the yard where two rabbits invite him to play but he is declared not a rabbit - not real. Then the Boy becomes very ill with scarlet fever. When he is going to the seaside, everything in his bed must be burned. Delay in that task lets Little Rabbit stick his head out of the bag. He sheds a tear and from that spot grows a flower which opens to show the Nursery magic Fairy who flies him into the woods and kisses him making him real. Illustrations were digitally reproduced from a 1922 first edition. Every library should have a copy of this story. Cloth covered cover will draw interest in the story.
Burning
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Arnold, Elana K
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 02, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Ben's summer after high school graduation is spent hanging out with friends and packing up for the move--his mom, dad, and brother to Reno and Ben to college.  He meets a Roma girl, Lala, whose family is telling fortunes outside the gate of the Burning Man festival.  Ben feels the burden of leaving his younger brother, who is gay, to fend for himself; Lala is unsure if going through with an arranged marriage is the destiny she hopes for.   Although the book is probably best marketed as a romance, there are alot of things happening which make it more than just the story of teen/new adult lust.  There is lots of information about the Roma/Romani culture; Lala tells the reader that either of those terms are preferred over the Anglocized "gypsy" but uses "gypsy" many times throughout the book.  She seems to use Ben to turn away from many of the ways of her people but it works within the story.  Will they or won't they -- be together physically, be together forever?  The ending was a bit of a surprise.  Teen girls will love this quick read.
Believe
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Aronson, Sarah
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 02, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Ten years after a suicide bomb killer her parents, 16-year-old Janine continues to be shielded from the spotlight by her aunt, with whom she lives.  The minister who saved Janine suddenly appears and want to re-establish contact, saying that Janine has the power to heal people with her damaged hands.  The story meanders here and there, sometimes making it a struggle to finish the book.  Janine at times seems like a teen who doesn't think she's special and who just wants to get on with her life; at other times, she is a bit bratty and her friends don't always like her.  There is a heavy message of faith healing which may not set well with those who do not believe that such can take place.  Overall I thought the book was ok but don't see it having a wide audience of teen readers.
Acid
Delacorte [Delacorte]
Pass, Emma
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
In the year 2113, 17-year-old Jenna Strong is locked away in an all-male prison by ACID (Agency of Crime Investigation and Defense), a brutal totalitarian police force, for a violent crime she cannot remember committing. Once a pampered upper-class teen with a perfect life ahead of her in the vigilantly controlled dystopian society, Jenna, after two years in prison, is tougher than most of the inmates, down to the tattoo on her neck that crudely tells the world just where it can go. Three times in the book, Jenna is assigned a new identity, sometimes accompanied by new memories. In each instance, the story is essentially reset. Jenna's love for Max, the son of the man who died rescuing her, further weakens the protagonist and plot. It clouds her judgment, making her take selfish risks that the cold, calculating Jenna readers meet in prison would never take. The resets disrupt the pacing, dissipate tension, and set Jenna off in a new direction. The plot relies too much on coincidence, making it feel that Jenna's story is happening to her rather than because of her. Hard core dystopians will be attracted, as will those who like strong female characters.
Voice Inside My Head
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Laidlaw, S J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Seventeen-year-old Luke's older sister, Pat, has always been his moral compass, like a voice inside his head, every time he has a decision to make. So when Pat disappears on Utila, a tiny island off the coast of Honduras, and the authorities claim she's drowned - despite the fact that they can't produce a body - Luke heads to Honduras to find her because he knows something the authorities don't. Pat’s voice is guiding him becoming real. Soon he learns that the sister he loved—responsible, vegan, plan-driven—had adopted a wholly different persona, even going by Tricia instead of Pat. With the help of a few unlikely friends, Luke gradually pieces together the days before his sister’s disappearance, and a side of her he never knew. The plot, offering abundant possibilities for Pat’s fate, will keep readers turning the pages. Laidlaw also does a good job depicting the island’s party scene without demonizing the idea of letting loose and having fun. What appear at first to be radical personality changes for Pat are the believable actions of a complex individual who is still finding herself. Just creepy and suspenseful enough to keep readers engaged.
Alienated
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Landers, Melissa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. Handpicked to host the first-ever L'eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she'll have inside information about the mysterious L'eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara's blog following is about to skyrocket. While Cara anticipates resistance to the aliens from the residents of her small town, she isn’t prepared for full-on xenophobia from the entire community. Personal threats and violent protests leave Cara and Aelyx shaken, but revelations about ulterior motives of the L’eihr students and their government have Cara wondering if perhaps she has been a bit too trusting. Landers successfully uses the familiar forbidden-romance plot as a means for exploring larger social, ecological, and ethical issues in this tense, fast-paced read. This is start to a new romantic sf series. No date for next book. Easily goes through high school.
Awaken
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
Cabot, Meg
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 03, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
For fans of Cabot's works, the last of the Abandon trilogy features 17-year-old Pierce who has joined the love of her life, John, Lord of the Underworld. The two are working to ferry the souls of the dead to their final destination. the lovers find themselves Earth-side in a battle with a corrupt developer and his son during a hurricane. They are also pursued by the Furies because John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul. The couple is separated but Pierce is right in the heart of the action which includes looking for John. Eye catching cover will draw the readers and the story will find them asking for more. Junior high fans of the Twilight series will like this book.
Queen And The Nobody Boy : Hodie's Journey
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Else, Barbara
Broad, Sam
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 03, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
Hodie's Journey is a follow up to The Traveling Restaurant. Orphan, Hodie, is an unpaid odd-job boy at the palace in the Kingdom of Fontania. He decides to leave and seek his luck in the South. 12-year-old Queen Sibilla decides to leave also because of the rumors of the lack of magical powers. She dresses as a ragamuffin boy and she convinces him to travel together to Um'Binnia whose greedy Emperor Prowdd'on had recently visited Fontania and is now threatening war. The story is told in five parts. The mystery is suspenseful with short chapters with funny titles and doses of magic.
LINCOLN'S LAST DAYS : THE SHOCKING ASSASSINATION THAT CHANGE
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
O'REILLY, BILL
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
September 03, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
The lead up to and the following days of one of the most dramatic nights in our American history - the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865 in Ford's Theater by actor John Wilkes Booth. The who, what, where, when of these events read like a thriller. Adapted from Bill O'Reilly's adult historical thriller, Killing Lincoln. Maps, period photos of people and places, time lines will draw readers and researchers to this book. Excellent purchase. 5th grade and up. Reviewed in Booklist.
Tower Of The Five Orders
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Hicks, Deron R
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 03, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
Sequel to the mystery Secrets of Shakespeare's Grave has 13 year old Colophon Letterford and her cousin, Julian, searching for the family treasure in Oxford, England. After the manuscripts of Shakespeare were declared possible forgeries, Mull Letterford is relieved of leadership in the family business, Letterford and Sons (a publishing house). Mr. Treemont takes over. Colophon and Julius are in search of new clues at the Corpus Christi Colege in Cambridge, England. Could Phillip Marlowe and Shakespeare be more connected than previously thought? Treemond has hired a spy of his own to tail the Letterford family. Her brother, Case, discovers that Coly's phone is bugged. Clues found in the Tower of the Five Orders lead Colophon and Julian on another underground excursion where they find the treasure. But the fun is not over. Clue to another greedy individual is a lead to a third book. Each chapter heading has a vocabulary word and its definition with ties to the speaker. Appendix includes the Play, act, scene, speaker & words. Even gave the book to my husband to read.
DREAMSLEEVES
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
PARATORE, COLEEN MURTAGH
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 03, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
12-year-old Aislinn, A for short, is the oldest of five siblings who is left to care for them the summer before eighth grade while her parents work. Mother sympathizes and helps her to get out while father won't allow her to talk with boys or date until she is 17 or 18. A is invited to a party that will take place before school starts. Mother comes up with plan to let her attend. Dad's drinking is getting worse. In a plea for help, she tapes a Hello - I'm... sticker with a dream of help for him on her sleeve for the priest to see but others see it as well. This idea begins to help others as they put their dreams on their sleeves. She calls it Dreamsleeve. The idea is useful for youngsters who are having problems. Useful for counselors using biblio-therapy.
Cheesie Mack Is Not Exactly Famous
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Cotler, Steve
Holgate, Douglas
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 03, 2014
Dame, Anne
4th book in the Cheesie Mack series. Cheesie and his best friend Georgie are messing around at a construction site when they find a buried object. Turns out that this object might have significant historical value so Cheesie and Georgie start getting lots of media attention. Full of humor, drawings, and lists this is a good read-alike for wimpy kid fans.
Independent Study
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Charbonneau, Joelle
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 03, 2014
Dame, Anne
Sequel to The Testing. Cia has gone through a brutal testing period, but doesn't remember any of it thanks to a governmental mind wipe. Now she's about to start classes at the university with Tomas. However, nightmares and secrets push her on a more dangerous course. A good read-alike series for Hunger Games but less violent. The main character is 17-years-old so there is higher grade appeal even though it is also suitable for 6th and up.
Magic In The Park
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Chew, Ruth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 03, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Before there was the Magic Tree House there was Ruth Chew's magic tree in a Brooklyn park. Originally published in 1972 this pleasant Stepping Stone title follows Jennifer Mace, new to the city, as she meets a new friend Mike in the nearby park. It has several oddities--a large tree that seems to move and sometimes disappears and a bird man in an old coat who attracts birds. Through their adventures in the park they end up underground below the tree's roots and turn into pigeons. Though they enjoy this new perspective flying around they're dependent on the resident raven to tell them how to transform back into children. From then on they can communicate with the birds. Add in a mean neighbor who steals Jen's new bike and wants to strangle pigeons plus a wise grandma, who knew the same bird man as a girl, and the story has enough action and mystery for the intended transitional chapter book readers. Lexile 520 with 126 pages of medium sized font and older illustrations.
Good-Pie Party
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Scanlon, Liz Garton
Denton, Kady Macdonald
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 04, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
Moving away and leaving your friends is hard to do. Posy Peyton doesn't want to move. After packing up her room with her friends, Megan and Mae, the girls come up with a way to create a better way of separating by celebrating with a good-pie party where they invite loads of people to bring a pie. What a delicious way of saying farewell. Useful for parents and counselors to use with youngsters.
There Was An Old Sailor
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Allen, Cassandra
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 04, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
Need another version of the rhyming "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" for your collection? Here is a "fishy" one! The Old Sailor swallows creatures from the sea increasing in size from the krill to the whale. At the end of the story are pictures of the eight creatures with quick "fishy facts" about each.
Albert The Muffin-Maker
KANE PRESS [KANE PRESS]
May, Eleanor
Melmon, Deborah
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 04, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
Albert Mouse does not have the ingredients that he needs and must go to neighbors and friends to ask them to share. He and sister, Wanda, share the result of his work. Ordinal numbers concept is creatively displayed with the picture of each added ingredients such as flour, first; oatmeal, second; baking powder, third; salt, fourth; and so on. Then a repeat of who gets the first, second, third, and on to the twelfth muffin. The kids do not know that they are learning math. The focus of the story is not measurement so no reference to how much of each ingredient. At the end of the story are Fun Activities with ways that adults can extend the math topic and reading skills including no-bake playdough recipe with directions in their correct order. Wonderful addition. Will look at the entire Mouse Math series.
Screaming At The Ump
CLARION [CLARION]
Vernick, Audrey
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 04, 2014
Dame, Anne
Casey's dad and grandpa run the 3rd best umpire school in the nation. Casey loves the school and meeting the players, but his real dream is to become a sports journalist. When he stumbles upon a story that could cause a scandal, he realizes how difficult it is to be fair and retain integrity in the field. Baseball fans will particularly enjoy "You suck, Ump!" day as well as all the baseball action. There is also lots of friendship and family plot to keep things moving.
Mark Of The Dragonfly
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Johnson, Jaleigh
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 04, 2014
Dame, Anne
Piper is scrabbling to survive in a small village. When a turn of events brings a young girl with the king's Mark of the Dragonfly into her life, everything changes. Piper knows she can get a huge reward for returning the king's property, but the only way to do that is a train journey that she cannot afford. Great characters and setting. A bit predictable in places, but a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Seal Pup Rescue
Square Fish [Square Fish]
Peterson, Brenda
Lindsey, Robin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 04, 2014
Dame, Anne
Excellent photographs are the best feature of this level 2 reader. As for the text, it is fine, but what this young boy is doing -apparently without any adult help or supervision - is completely unrealistic.
My Life As A Joke
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Tashjian, Janet
Tashjian, Jake
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 04, 2014
Dame, Anne
Written by Janet Tashjian and illustrated by her son Jake, this is a good read-alike for Wimpy Kid fans. Good for reluctant boy readers. Derek wants to look and act grown-up now that he is 12. However, fate seems to be conspiring against him.
Across A War-Tossed Sea
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Elliott, L M
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 04, 2014
Dame, Anne
Companion to "Under a War-Torn Sky" Although it is labeled as a companion novel, this feels more like a sequel to me, even though I haven't read the other book. In the first book, brothers Wesley and Charles left England in 1943 to escape the bombing. They survived a treacherous ocean crossing and joined relatives in Virginia. Now the boys are trying to adapt to life without their parents as well as fitting into a rural society instead of the city life of London that they are used to. Things get even more difficult for them when they discover that there is a camp of German POWs nearby - and that they might be coming to work on their farm. Well-written and insightful. Also covers a topic within WWII that isn't discussed much with the POWs here in America.
Silver People : Voices From The Panama Canal
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Engle, Margarita
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 04, 2014
Dame, Anne
This is part of the story of how the Panama Canal was built/dug. It is told in poetry format from a variety of voices. One very unique and interesting thing about these voices is that the author has also included the voices of the trees and the inhabitants of the forests that are being destroyed. It is well-written, but I have a hard time figuring out who in my student audience would actually read it.
Dumbest Idea Ever!
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Gownley, Jimmy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 04, 2014
Dame, Anne
This memoir in graphic novel format tells the story of how Jimmy went from being a popular basketball player to someone who felt like nothing was going right in his life - plus how he became a graphic novel artist while still a teenager. Students will be able to relate to this colorful, interesting story. The illustrations are clear and it is very easy to distinguish the different characters.
Greetings From The Graveyard
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Klise, Kate
Klise, M. Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 04, 2014
Dame, Anne
Book 6 in the 43 Old Cemetery Road series. The residents of 43 Old Cemetery Road decide to start a greeting card business. Things get more interesting when Ignatius is blackmailed by an ex-girlfriend plus an unprecedented streak of crimes hit their town as well. A fun read. A strong reader will quickly figure out who is behind the crime wave and wonder why it took the characters in the book so long to figure it out. Changing points of view can occasionally be tricky.
V Is For Villain
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Moore, Peter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 05, 2014
Doran, Kelly
Unlike his superhero brother Blake, Brad appears to have no powers other than his intelligence. At the Academy, where everybody has powers, he's looked down on (and seriously injured by a "prank" in gym class) until he's transferred into an alternative program for students without obvious powers. But appearances are deceiving. Brad discovers that he does have powers -- highly illegal ones -- that the villains his brother fights may actually be victims, and that a lot of what he and his brother have always believed in are lies. When Brad confronts his brother, he finds out just how far the heroes will go to protect themselves from the truth; and if he has to take a side, there's only one other option. Good exploration of moral ambiguity, extremism, and what "heroism" means. Note: Trigger warning for the first chapter: Brad's injury comes within millimeters of rendering him a quadriplegic; the perpetrator is not punished in any way and is praised for his technique -- the first indication that something is very wrong with the "heroes".
Creature Of Moonlight
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Hahn, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 05, 2014
Doran, Kelly
First novel. Living in exile with her royal grandfather, Marni knows the ever-encroaching forest is dangerous -- it calls to the village girls as it called to her mother before she was born -- but her uncle's court is just as perilous. Marni finds herself caught between her position as heir to the throne and her heritage from her unknown father in the forest, and unable to live in either world. She must make her own path if she does not want to die at her uncle's hand as her mother did. Marni is believably intelligent and stubborn as she navigates the politics and paranoia of her two different worlds, and neither the court nor the forest (or either of their respective kings) are one-dimensionally good or bad. Excellent writing, could use a somewhat better cover. Age ranges from 12+ or Gr. 9+.
Wonderful Wizard Of Oz : 1
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Shanower, Eric
Young, Skottie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
September 05, 2014
Doran, Kelly
First part of an 8-part graphic adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, notable for being faithful to the details of the original book (e.g., Dorothy meets the Good Witch of the North in Munchkinland, not Glinda). This first part covers the beginning of the book through Dorothy's meeting with the Scarecrow. Skottie Young's appealing and dynamic art suits the story.
Marvelous Land Of Oz : 1
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Shanower, Eric
Young, Skottie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
September 05, 2014
Doran, Kelly
First part of an eight-part graphic adaptation of The Marvelous Land of Oz (the second Oz book, in which Dorothy is mentioned but does not appear). This part covers the introduction of Tip and the witch Mombi, the creation of Jack Pumpkinhead, and Tip and Jack's escape from Mombi.
ARMADILLOS
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO]
LLANAS, SHEILA GRIFFIN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Checkerboard: Animal Icons" series. The attractive book will give the readers the information they need to complete research projects on the armadillo. The book covers the animals evolution, range, body, food, behavior, and life cycle. The book also contain information on armadillo lore and the future of this animal. The book contain color, captioned photographs. The text is well written. "Icon Extras" found in the upper corner of some pages provide the reader with even more information. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, and index. Web resources are provided through the publisher's website. A good purchase, if you have a need in your library.
BALD EAGLES
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO]
LLANAS, SHEILA GRIFFIN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Checkerboard: Animal Icons" series. The attractive book will give the readers the information they need to complete research projects on the bald eagle. The book covers the animal's history, range, body, food, behavior, and life cycle. The book also contain information on bald eagle lore and the future of this animal. The book contain color, captioned photographs. The text is well written. "Icon Extras" found in the upper corner of some pages provide the reader with even more information. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, and index. Web resources are provided through the publisher's website. A good purchase, if you have a need in your library.
GRAY WOLVES
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO]
LLANAS, SHEILA GRIFFIN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Checkerboard: Animal Icons" series. The attractive book will give the readers the information they need to complete research projects on the gray wolf. The book covers the animals development, range, body, food, behavior, and life cycle. The book also contain information on wolf lore and the future of this animal. The book contain color, captioned photographs. The text is well written. "Icon Extras" found in the upper corner of some pages provide the reader with even more information. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, and index. Web resources are provided through the publisher's website. A good purchase, if you have a need in your library.
Returning To Shore
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Demas, Corinne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Ad+/R depending on local needs. I8 - 10 may be a better leveling.Hi/Low Lexile 780. While her mother goes off for her honeymoon with her third husband (Tertio), Clare is shipped off to Blackfish Island (off Martha’s Vineyard) to spend the summer with her father, a man she hasn't seen since she was three. She is less than thrilled. Richard isn’t much of conversationalist and he’s avidly studying the Northern Diamondback Terrapin who nests on the island. Gradually, through walks on the beach, kayaking around the bay and board games, the two find their way toward an honest and loving relationship. Some obnoxious neighbors, walking clichés whose every move embodies thoughtless entitlement and ignorance of the island's natural rhythms are the weakest part of the story. As she learns the real reasons behind her parents’ divorce and the impact her father’s undisclosed sexual orientation had on his decision to stay out of her life, she and her father begin to connect as parent and child and as fellow adults. In this coming-of-age novel, Clare must also decide how she feels about her father’s identity, especially when faced with friends’ homophobia. A good title to bridge middle grade readers to slightly more mature stories/narratives.
KILL SWITCH
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
LYNCH, CHRIS
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
It's Daniel's last summer before college, so he is trying to spend as much time with his beloved grandfather as he can. Da is exhibiting signs of dementia. Daniel wonders what kind of a job his grandfather retired from when he notices men from his workplace showing up, especially when Da remembers something from his past. Daniel, Young Man to Da, starts to wonder aboutDa’s storiest hat hint at his involvement in political intrigue, coups, and assassinations. Did he really scale a building in Tel Aviv and blind a scientist using a paper clip? Or set a man's face on fire in Cyprus? Did he impersonate a jockey and win a race on a drugged horse in Bolivia Daniel finally realizes how much truth there is to some of the tales his Da is recalling and takes him on a road trip to outrun the assassins. What is Daniel's potential for violence, if his "kill switch" is tripped? Lynch mixes tragedy, psychological drama, and action to tell a story about testing the bounds of family loyalty.
OSCAR PETERSON : THE MAN AND HIS MUSIC
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
BATTEN, JACK
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Peterson may not be a household name in the U.S., but, in his native Canada, the legendary jazz pianist is a pretty big deal. Called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson released over 200 recordings, won seven Grammy Awards, received the Order of Canada and is considered to have been one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. Few pianists could match Peterson in terms of technical virtuosity, but fellow countryman (and former jazz reviewer) Batten goes beyond the music and shows that hard work and parental support helped the musician distinguish himself among the many jazz greats of his day. The author seems unable at times to pinpoint his intended audience. For instance, while discussing the racism Peterson faced touring in the American South, he uses awkward and clichéd language geared toward elementary students. But when describing Peterson's playing, he highlights intricacies of the music that only a jazz fan would understand. The book's design is problematic; in many cases, photographs on the page have nothing to do with the surrounding text. A hard sell for young readers, but if there is a strong jazz program it’s worth the purchase. Includes bib. discography, and index
ROCKOHOLIC
Chicken House [Chicken House]
SKUSE, C J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
A raucous story of romance, rock music, and accidental kidnapping. Sixteen-year-old Jody is crushed when her wild, ex-rocker grandfather dies, but she's determined to follow his parting advice: "Don't Dream It, Be It." Jody focuses her energies on meeting her favorite American rock star, Jackson Gatlin; lead singer for The Regulators .When Jackson comes to the U.K. on tour, she has a chance run-in with him backstage; Jody is horrified to see the mask of stardom slip away, revealing a miserable, lost soul rather than the assured, sexy star she worships. Jackson, high and hallucinating, mistakes a shiny candy wrapper for a knife, leading Jody to bundle him off home in her best friend Mac's car. Once Jackson realizes that he's in what amounts to a secret location, he refuses to leave: Sick of fame, terrified of his sadistic manager and wanting to get sober at last, he's ready for a normal life. Skuse lets readers see the entitled, self-centered and self-loathing side of international superstardom, slowly forcing Jody to face the reality that famous people are just...people.
Twice Lost
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS]
Porter, Sarah
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Sequel to Lost Voices and Waking Storm. Mermaids have been sinking ships and drowning humans for centuries, and now the government is determined to put an end to the mermaid problem—by slaughtering all of them. Luce, a mermaid with exceptionally threatening abilities, becomes their number-one target, hunted as she flees down the coast toward San Francisco. There she finds hundreds of mermaids living in exile under the docks of the bay. These are the Twice Lost: once-human girls lost first when a trauma turned them into mermaids, and lost a second time when they broke mermaid law and were rejected by their tribes. Luce is stunned when they elect her as their leader. But she won't be queen; she'll be thegeneral of the Twice Lost Army—because this is war. As they gain strength in numbers, the mermaids wage war against the United States. In the process, they realize that humans are worth saving and begin to hope for peace between humans and themselves. Other storylines involve the return of Luce's father after being lost at sea for two years and Dorian's change of heart about finding Luce, helping her cause and rekindling their love. The author attempts to set up suspense Defense Moreland and his diabolical plan to destroy the country
Heaven Is Paved With Oreos
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Murdock, Catherine Gilbe
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Sarah Zorn and her similarly science-minded friend, Curtis(younger brother of female athlete DJ Schwenk from Dairy Queen), utilize the “Brilliant Outflanking Strategy” to prevent classmates from teasing them about dating (which they’re not). It’s counterintuitive but effective: tell everyone they’re a couple so that Emily Friend (or “Emily Enemy,” as Sarah calls her) leaves them alone. But, soon, Curtis doesn’t like the lying, and Sarah’s quirky, yoga-loving grandmother, Z, insists she travel with her from Wisconsin to Rome to complete a pilgrimage to seven churches begun 46 years ago. Sarah tells the story in journal format in a kind of naïve, geeky charm. In the Eternal City, she grows up a little and finds space and perspective to articulate the kind of girl she wants to be-a girl like D.J., who serves as a role model throughout the book. This coming of age tale, allows Sarah to mature into the responsible adult as Z’s erratic behavior escalates and the reasons for her pilgrimage become evident. Sarah’s voice is tart and inquisitive, and her observations make the pilgrimage come alive. The family backstory, meanwhile, raises interesting questions about parental responsibilities and women’s roles over several generations.
Watcher In The Shadows
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS]
Moriarty, Chris
Geyer, Mark E
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
In an alternate New York City, Sacha returns in this sequel to The Inquisitor's Apprentice. Gangsters are being murdered, and a bargain with a watcher in the shadows and the devil emerge. Sacha is determined not to be a magician and avoids learning magic, but there is talk of Morgaunt and the Dybbuk, who stole Sacha's soul, returning. J.P. Morgaunt mercilessly wields his magical power over newspapers, transportation, manufacturing and just about everything else, including a soul-stealing machine with which he has loosed Sacha's doppelganger, a dybbuk that is constantly growing stronger. An impending strike at the Pentacle Shirtwaist Factory is the catalyst for Morgaunt's machinations, which encompass the workers' union, the crime syndicate Magic, Inc., martial arts and Kabbalists.When Sacha's family is drawn into this morass, he must make impossible choices between guarding their safety and working with Inspector Wolf, Lily and Peyton, all of whom have become dear to him. Moriarity again manages to capture the great distance between rich and poor, the struggle of immigrants to cope with bigotry and poverty, and the rapidly growing and changing world of the real New York City, while staying true to Sacha's mystical city.
REVEL
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
GUIBORD, MAURISSA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
There's an island off the coast of Maine that's not on any modern map. Shrouded in mist and protected by a deadly reef, Trespass Island is home to a community of people who guard the island and its secrets from outsiders so what is 17-year-old Delia doing there? She’s fled the Kansas foster system after the death of her mother and is searching out her grandmother to finds some answers. Once she arrives, Delia realizes that there is a terrifying reason her mother fled Trespass Island: real monsters who won’t make it easy for her to leave. Uncovering the secrets of the island, she learns that a race of demigods sired by Poseidon control everything that happens there, while the occupants do their best to accommodate those they see as their protectors. Those accommodations, however, include demanding great sacrifices from some of their young people. This mash-up of Greek mythology and HP Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth is a cut above many other recent YA titles featuring mermaids, mermen, sirens, and other water creatures. Delia is a strong heroine who finds her voice both literally and figuratively as she opposes the First Ones' exploitation of the human island residents; the enigmatic Jax makes a compelling love interest.
Confederates Don't Wear Couture
GRAPHIA [GRAPHIA]
Strohm, Stephanie Kate
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Sequel to Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink. History-loving Libby Kelting is taking to the battlefields—literally. Dev, her fab designer best friend, has lined up a gig selling “Confederate Couture” to the wives and girlfriends of Civil War reenactors, and yes, that means Libby is modeling hoop skirts in the Alabama heat. However, traveling from battleground to battleground without the comforts of daily life (showers, air-conditioning, and Starbucks) takes its toll on the teens, as does the ghost that has been haunting Cpl. Beau Anderson, who happens to be hot, and has his eye on Libby. The only real problem? Libby will have to spend the summer far from her boyfriend, aspiring journalist Garrett. Once in the South, Libby and Dev meet their sponsors, a canny businesswoman and her adorable, history-loving son, Beau, an officer with the regiment they're attached to--and whose family is bedeviled by a ghost. Hijinks and romantic anxiety ensue. The merriment is compounded by a troop of overeager Boy Scouts, an evil land developer and the arrival of Garrett, who uses the excuse of the ghost to extend his internship with the Boston Globe to the battlefields of the Deep South. Scooby-Doo, Glee, and other pop culture references make mental floss.
Emma Stone : Breakout Movie Star
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Owings, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 07, 2014
Garrard, Thom
This biography of actress Emma Stone, part of the Contemporary Lives series from ABDO’s Essential Library, begins with a brief description of her big break after three years of failure to land acting roles in film and television industry. After returning to childhood experiences that impacted her life, such as a hiatal hernia, anxiety, permissive parenting, and moving to Hollywood with her mother at age 15, the book then turns to her successes. Each significant role that she landed, the audition process, the film’s plot, the cast’s (seemingly always) great chemistry, the lessons she learned about acting, and the movie’s critical and popular reception are chronicled. Some information about her off-screen life is interspersed, though there is more about her mother’s battle with cancer than about her boyfriends. The easy-to-read text is illustrated with color photographs and accompanied by sidebars with additional information. For those wishing to learn about the life of this celebrity, this biography does a fair enough job.
You Can't Have Too Many Friends!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Gerstein, Mordicai
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 07, 2014
Garrard, Thom
In this adaptation of a classic French fairy tale, the King borrows the famous jellybeans grown by Duck. After a year passes, Duck tires of waiting for them to be returned and goes to get them back. Along his way he meets friends, including a dog, a ladder, a brook, and some wasps. Each shrinks and then hides on his person in order to accompany him. When they arrive, the King is annoyed and makes several attempts to intimidate or eliminate Duck, but each time his friends rescue him and ultimately chase the King away. A search of the palace yields no jellybeans, because the King has already consumed them, so Duck heads home to grow some more. On their return, they are surprised to find the King and a truckload of jellybeans to repay the debt. Now Duck and the King are friends also, because you can’t have too many friends! Rhymes and repeated phrases make the story fun and accessible. Most of the text is dialogue, which appears in color and is set in speech bubbles. The colorful, cartoonlike illustrations are well-matched to the text and capture Duck’s sunny disposition perfectly. Students will enjoy the humor in the story and appreciate the fairness of the resolution.
Jacob's New Dress
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Hoffman, Sarah
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 07, 2014
Garrard, Thom
When kids get to play in the dress-up corner at school, Jacob wants to be a princess and wear a dress, despite the protestations of another boy in his class. At home that night, he asks his mom if he can wear the dress from his witch costume to school. Because of her misgivings, she tells him it could get dirty, which prompts him to create his own dress-like garment to wear over his other clothes. After his classmate continues to tease him and pulls it off at recess, he asks his mom to help him sew a real dress. She agrees and Jacob wears it proudly. The other boy still teases him, but the dress feels like protective armor, and he can finally be happy wearing what he wants to wear. The colorful cartoon illustrations convey both the positive and negative emotions and reactions of the characters. The afterword from the authors explains that being a pink boy, the male equivalent of a tomboy, is not easy, and how important it is to provide acceptance and support for gender-nonconforming children. This heartwarming story would make a valuable addition to any library. Not only would it be helpful to children in Jacob’s situation, but it reinforces the importance of loving and supporting others and being true to one's self.
Bartholomew And The Oobleck
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Seuss, Dr
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 07, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
What yuck is Oobleck! Old King Derwin of Didd commanded his magicians to create something to fall from the sky that is new and different than the usual sun, fog, rain, and snow. But Oobleck is green, sticky, and falling everywhere. When the King wants a holiday, the bell ringer can’t ring the bell because of the oobleck. Nor can the royal trumpeter blow. What started the size of peanuts grows to as big as footballs, then buckets-full of “gooey asparagus soup.” People are stuck where they are - including the King. Now he wants the magicians to return but they are stuck, too. Outspoken pageboy, Bartholomew Cubbins, was against it from the beginning and now tells the King he must say, “I’m sorry.” The message of this tale is that you take responsibility for your own mistakes and say those magic words. While the original copyright is 1949, this book is a classic that every generation needs to hear. Need a new copy for your readers?
If I Ran The Zoo
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Seuss, Dr
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 07, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
Wishes of young Gerald McGrew Who wants to make something new. He’d let the zoo animals go That’s what he’d just do! He’ll visit countries and places To bring back creatures with unusual faces. Whether an animal as fast as the wind, There’s one from the Desert of Zind. He’ll bring them all to the Zoo. Not just one or three but others, too! For some creatures they cook up fine feasts. That’s one way how McGrew Zoo will get beasts. He’d "make changes," said Gerald McGrew, “If I ran the zoo!” I’ll peek at my shelves and take good looks To make sure that we have nice Dr. Seuss books! Caldecott Honor winner is what we knew. Do we need one that is new?
Plains Zebras
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Raatma, Lucia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the Scholastic "Nature's Children" series, this 48 page book puts a focus on the zebras of the African plains. The book is divided into 5 chapters. Each chapter contains an overview and then several two-page spreads. The two page spread contains text on one page and a full color photograph on the other. The text is well-written and will allow the reader to gain a great deal of information on this animal. Topics include: body, coloring, predators, habitat, migration, grooming, communication, mating, and more. The book also discusses the relationship between zebras and other equids and the future for these animals. The book is complete with a fact page (right after the title page), table of contents, glossary, range map, bibliography (3 books, with web resources provided through the publisher), index, and author information. A good book for beginning researchers.
CHOKE
POINT SIGNATURE [SCHOLASTIC]
LOPEZ, DIANA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Lopez is a former middle school teacher and pens this tale of friendship and trust that intersects with a problem novel about dangerous behaviors among middle schoolers If she could -- if her parents would let her -- eighth-grader Windy would change everything about herself. She'd get highlights in her hair, a new wardrobe; she'd wear makeup. But nothing ever changes. The mean girls at school are still mean, and Windy's best friend Elena is still more interested in making up words than talking about boys. And then one day, Windy gets the change she's been looking for. New girl Nina -- impossibly cool, confident, and not afraid of anyone -- starts hanging out with Windy! Nina even wants to be "breath sisters." Windy isn't sure what that means, exactly, but she knows she wants to find out. It sounds even better than a BFF.. Windy spends more time with Nina, which eventually includes participating in the choking game: a tightening hold around the neck until the player passes out. When coming to, the rush of oxygen to the brain creates a feeling of euphoria. Windy realizes, too late, the dangerous consequences when Nina ends up with irreversible brain damage. Good for discussion groups.
Ice Cream Cows And Mitten Sheep
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Billin-Frye, Paige
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
The 32 page book, part of the "Magic Castle Readers: Science" series, opens with two pages about "work windows and "magic castles" which are books and a library. A boy, David, opens a word window and then our story begins. David is at a farm. He learns how cows give milk and the product that are made from milk. Then he learns about sheep and hens. Each page contains one or two simple sentences and a color illustration. Five comprehension questions are found on the final pages. This book would be a good review book for a farm unit, but there are many other informative books on farms that will more engage the reader.
Biggest Snowball Of All
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Rooney, Ronnie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Magic Castle Readers: Math" series, this 32 page book give readers the opportunity to explore the concept of size. The book opens with two pages about "work windows and "magic castles" which are books and a library. A girl Emily opens a word window about a little bear and a tiny snowball. The snowball is placed on her nose, but falls off while she is sledding. The snowball grows bigger. When she meets raccoon, they decide to build a snowbear with three different sized snowballs. Rabbit bumps into the snowbear with her sled and the head falls off and down the hill creating the biggest snowball ever. They turn it into an igloo until the sun melts it back into the tiny snowball. Sizes covered are: tiny, small, big, bigger, even bigger, and biggest of all. The book has 5 comprehension questions on the final page. Students learning about size will like this book, however, there are other titles that are more engaging.
Magic Moon Machine
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Rooney, Ronnie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Magic Castle Readers: Math" series, this 32 page book give readers the opportunity to count objects. The book opens with two pages about "work windows and "magic castles" which are books and a library. A boy, Lee, opens a word window and then our story begins. The story is about a boy named Lee who asks an astronaut if he can join her on a trip to the moon. The astronaut tells Lee he can only bring a few things. Each page after includes some things that Lee wants to bring. Readers can count the various items. Numbers from 1 to 12 are used, however not in number order. Color illustrations are found throughout. Eventually, the spacecraft can not go to the moon because it is too heavy, leaving Lee and his things on Earth. The book has 5 comprehension questions on the final page. Students learning to read and count will like this book, however, there are other titles that are more engaging.
How To Make Stuff With Duct Tape
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Bell, Samantha
Oseid, Kelsey
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Make Your Own Fun" series, this 24 page book describes five items that can be made with duct tape. The first chapter describes what duct tape is and when it was developed. Each activity has a list of supplies needed, step-by-step directions, and illustrations labeled with the step they are showing. The items are: pencil holder, duct tape turtle, petal pen, visor, and wallet. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website). Add this book to your craft section and loan it out to teachers that need examples of direction writing.
Counting
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Pistoia, Sara
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Simply Math" series, this 24 page book appears to be a basic counting book, but it really is a book that a teacher or adult can use with a student to explore the mathematical concept of counting. The text covers counting by ones, fives, and tens. Then the book looks at place value (up to hundreds) and using place value in addition. The book has a list of key words and an index. Color photographs fit the understandable text. This book could easily be used when working with students on these concepts.
Here We Go 'round The Year
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Billin-Frye, Paige
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
The book, part of the "Magic Castle Readers: Science" series, opens with two pages about "work windows and "magic castles" which are books and a library. A girl, Amy, opens a word window and then our story begins. Twelve bears learn about each of the months of the year. Each month (except August and September) is given a two page spread. The spread includes one to three simple sentence about the month and two color illustrations. The book ends with the bears asking if the reader can read the twelve months. Nothing exciting here. The final page has five questions for the reader to check their comprehension. There are other books about months that will be much more engaging for students at this level. 32 pages.
Kevin Love
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Fishman, Jon M
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Amazing Athletes" series, this 32 page book explores the life of NBA star, Kevin Love. The book opens with a description of his first game of the 2012-13 season, then follows his life story. Love grew up in the Portland, Oregon area and became a high school standout and a star player at UCLA. He was drafted by the NBA after his freshman year by the Memphis Grizzlies and quickly traded to Minnesota. The book ends in 2013. Love has since been traded to Cleveland, making this book somewhat out of date. Color, captioned photographs are found throughout. One photo on p. 9 has one of the worst captions I've seen: "The city of Lake Oswego is near Oswego Lake in Oregon." Insulting the intelligence of the reader. The accompanying photo is of a railroad bridge over the Willamette River at Lake Oswego. It would have been nice to have a photo of Oswego Lake or of the town. The book contains a table of contents, timeline of career highlights, glossary, bibliography (including 4 websites), and index.
Colin Kaepernick : Nfl Phenom
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Hoblin, Paul
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
San Francisco Forty-Niners quarterback, Colin Kapernick is the topic of this 32 page biography, part of the "Playmakers" series. The book opens with the description of Kapernick's play in a January 2013 playoff game against Green Bay. The book them follows his life from birth in Wisconsin in 1987, being adopted, growing up in Turlock, California, playing for the University of Nevada, and playing in the NFL with San Francisco to Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. Color photographs enhance the informative text. This book will soon be outdated as Kapernick continues to play football. His story is far from being over. As a rival to the Seattle Seahawks, this book might get some interest from sports fans. The book is complete with a table of contents, fun facts, glossary, index, and bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website). An additional purchase.
Joe Flacco : Super Bowl Mvp
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Gitlin, Marty
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Playmakers" series, this 32 page book looks at the life of Baltimore Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco. The book begins with his Super Bowl XLVII (2013) win and then follows his life from growing up in New Jersey to college at Pittsburgh and Delaware to playing in the NFL with the Ravens. This book will soon be outdated as Flacco continues to play football. The book is complete with a table of contents, fun facts, glossary, index, and bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website). An additional purchase.
Chernobyl Disaster
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Rissman, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: History's Greatest Disasters" series, this 48 page book explores the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986. The book begins on the morning of the disaster when a safety test went out of control. Then the well-written text describes the response, immediate victims, and the efforts to control the reactor. The next chapters discuss the world reaction as they learned of the accident, the long term consequences, and how the nuclear energy industry has changed because of this event. Activities relating to primary sources are found at the end of some chapters and four common core related questions are found in the end matter. Captioned photographs and maps are found throughout. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, glossary, index, author information, and bibliography (web resource provided through publisher's website). This book would make a great addition to your collection if needed to support your curriculum.
Bareback Riding
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, John
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "A&D Xtreme: Rodeo" series, this 32 page book describes the rodeo event of bareback riding. The book explains the history, rules, equipment, strategy, injury, and horse care. Color photographs will engage the reader. The text is understandable, however, on several pages the text is white and on top of the photograph which might make it hard for some readers to focus on the words. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, and index. As there are few books on this topic, this might be a good purchase if you have a need.
Roping
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, John
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "A&D Xtreme: Rodeo" series. The book covers all aspects of roping in a clear and concise manner. The book includes information about the history of roping, skills required, equipment, rules, and timing. Tie down, breakaway, and team roping are all covered. The large type text will appeal to readers as will the captioned color photographs. The only problem with the text is that it is white and on some pages appears on top of the photograph making it a little hard to read. The book includes a table of contents, index, and glossary. If you have a need for rodeo books, this would be a great book.
Map My Country
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Boothroyd, Jennifer
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
While this 24 page book, part of the "First Step Nonfiction: Map it Out" series, is supposed to be for K-2 students, it's activities will be out of reach for them. The book describes using a blank United States map to label and color in. Students are asked to add a compass rose and then look up each state on the computer (no direction as how to do this) to find their location and label them on their map. Washington is labeled first, then Florida. The book states, "It is tricky to label smaller states." This activity will be "tricky" for all primary students! They explain that Alaska and Hawaii are far away from the other states, but only show their outlines underneath the 48 state map. This will cause confusion since they never show where these states are really located and their correct size. The student is finally prompted to color the state's they have been to in blue and the states that they want to go to in green. On page 20, there is a list of the directions (but not in the same order as presented in the book). The end matter includes five fun facts, a glossary, and index. At over $22, this book should be passed up. There are other books covering this topic in a more engaging, realistic manner.
Girls Like Us
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Giles, Gail
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
H/L choice Lexile 570. Although they're both "Speddies" (short for special ed), high school classmates Biddy and Quincy aren't friends. Quincy -- prickly, mistrustful, physically scarred, and left with brain damage after her "crack ho" mother's boyfriend hit her with a brick when she was six -- is a product of the foster care system; Biddy -- angelic, overweight, illiterate, diagnosed with "moderate retardation" -- has been raised by a cruel grandmother who kicks her out immediately after graduation. The two girls, both wards of the state, are assigned to live together, helping to cook and clean for well-meaning (but sometimes way-off-the-mark) Miss Lizzy. Quincy also gets a job at a grocery store where, on her first day, she's accosted by a coworker who later rapes her. Biddy, too, has been brutally raped and was tricked by her grandmother into giving up her baby. "Police or nobody else care what happen to girls like us," the normally sunny Biddy tells Quincy when she finally reveals what occurred. Small moments and poignant encounters throughout the book prove Biddy wrong, and each girl gradually starts to let down her guard. The teens' friendship is slow to develop but life-altering.
Cy In Chains
CLARION [CLARION]
Dudley, David L
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
In post-Reconstruction Georgia, Cy, 13, has befriended Travis, the white son of the volatile landowner for whom he and his father sharecrop. When Travis tries to run away, Cy tries to help, but he is instead implicated in Travis’ drowning death. Cy is captured, blindfolded, and taken far away, where he spends the next several years in a forced labor camp, chained almost 24 hours a day. Amidst the reprehensible conditions and constructs of the chain gang, Cy contemplates the nature of life, death, God, and friendship as he struggles to weigh the hefty risk of escaping into freedom versus his eventual but certain death in bondage. Cy’s and the other boys’ back stories offer a rich picture of the time. Cy’s narrative is harrowing, and even so, it likely takes it easy on the descriptions of the deplorable conditions in the for-profit labor camps in which young “offenders” were kept, often, for no other reason than being black. Not for the faint of heart, Brutal but a thought-provoking, and valuable look at an overlooked episode in American history. – American History tie-in.
Far From You
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Sharpe, Tess
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Debut novel – Oregon author The story begins with the crime, which is then unraveled by the narrator, Sophie, as she describes how she got to the point where her best friend, Mina, was murdered. The book is structured like a Jenga game Sophie alternates between telling her current story and relating past events, starting with the car accident three years before, which ravaged her physically and led to an OxyContin addiction. It will not take the reader long to realize that Sophie and Mina were not only best friends but in love with each other; Sophie’s heartbreak is as much about this as it is about Mina’s death. Within the mystery plot, she focuses mostly on Sophie's battle against drugs and against those who refuse to believe her--and on the emotional secret the two girls shared. Sharpe doesn't settle for simplistic, one-dimensional characters or easy answers. All characters have flaws and virtues, strengths and weaknesses.
Caged Warrior
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Sitomer, Alan Lawrence
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
McCutcheon "M.D." Daniels has one dream: to get out of poverty-stricken Detroit. His golden ticket? The violent, underground sport of mixed martial arts. M.D.'s alcoholic, has-been father coaches him to win fights and impress the Priests, gangsters that run all the MMA action in the city. His younger sister, Gem, is the one ray of sunshine in a world Sitomer paints as ruthless and needlessly cruel. The hope for a better life juxtaposes sharply with reality; it's constantly on the verge of bursting, an idea the author presents with great skill. M.D.'s gritty, vernacular narration goes beyond typical teen angst and captures the true spirit of the lowest class, a downtrodden world long left behind by the rest of American culture. When the teen begins to notice the damaging, cyclical nature of pessimism, he makes plays that he hopes will remove him from the clutches of his father and the Priests. Sitomer pulls no punches in this novel where fights and life alike are merciless and characterized by grit, blood, endurance, and smarts. Amid the violence, M.D’s inner strength shines, guaranteeing readers will back him through the book’s harsh twists and turns. The book's brisk read is made appealing by sentiment and sports drama.
Tyrant's Daughter
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Carleson, J C
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
After her father, the king of an unnamed Middle Eastern country, is assassinated in a coup, fifteen-year-old Laila, her mother, and her younger brother find themselves living in a tiny apartment in a D.C. suburb. They've been escorted there by the CIA officer who rescued them from certain death in exchange for Laila's mother's cooperation. So far, though, the former queen has been less than helpful, and Laila soon suspects that her mother, determined to return home, is in cahoots with her brother-in-law, the very man who killed her husband. The author, a former undercover CIA officer, tells a suspenseful story in which Laila, surrounded by manipulation and lies, risks everything to do the right thing. But the book isn't entirely plot driven. Readers will be intrigued by Laila's culture shock at the "differences between Old Life and New Life" as she walks around town alone and unveiled, attends high school classes, and even goes on dates. Most engrossing, though, is Laila's heartbreaking disbelief at the information she uncovers via library books and the internet -- that her beloved father was not a king at all, but a dictator: "My father had no adoring empire, and his was an authority based more on bloodshed than blood right."
Cold Calls
CLARION [CLARION]
Benoit, Charles
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Eric, Shelly, and Fatima are three teens from different schools and backgrounds who have only one thing in common: a midnight caller who knows their secrets. Secrets the three teenagers are desperate to keep hidden. So desperate in fact that they agree to do as the caller demands. The mysterious antagonist's demands are simple: They are to bully selected targets at their schools. Of course they get caught and have to attend at an anti-bullying class. There they realize what they have a common enemy; they set out to discover who their mutual foe is in order to stop their secrets from being shared before their lives are ruined. Character development isn't the strength here and there is no happily ever after but the characters feel like authentic teenagers. The quick pace of this psychological thriller takes readers for a ride, providing clues to the secrets the characters are trying to hide but without disclosing all of the information until later chapters. The coldness of the caller in relation to the damage he/she is doing to the bullying victims as well as the blackmail victims is particularly chilling, especially since there is no sign of a change in his/her behavior.
Sinking Of The Titanic
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Yasuda, Anita
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: History's Greatest Disasters" series, this 48 page book covers the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912. The book describes the building of the boat, the amenities, the voyage plan, the sinking, and the aftermath. The text is well-written and accompanied with photographs and maps. Call out boxes give the reader additional information to help with background information to comprehend the text. Primary sources are found at the end of some chapters along with common core related activities. The end matter includes a time line, more common core related questions, glossary, bibliography (web resources available through the publisher), index, and author information. You probably have several Titanic books on your shelves. This book would be a good purchase if you are updating or adding to this topic.
Death-Struck Year
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Lucier, Makiia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Includes bibliographical references – Oregon author A teen girl struggles to survive the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918. In her brother's care since the much earlier loss of their parents, 17-year-old Cleo Berry longs for freedom and adventure, even as she languishes under the expectations of upper-middle-class society in Portland, Ore. When her brother and his wife leave for an anniversary trip, Cleo moves into the dormitory of her school. Already living under the constant dread of bad news from the World War I front, the students and staff of the school find themselves facing a new threat, drawing closer each day--the dreaded Spanish flu. After the school is closed by the health dept., Cleo sneaks out and returns to her vacant family home. She answers a call from the Red Cross for volunteers and overcomes her fears as she fights to help educate the community and bring the sick to shelters. Lucier uses a first-person narration, and is sometimes too formal for the setting, but she weaves in historical details (including snippets from Sanger's controversial birth control writings). Readers will be swept up in the story as Cleo builds friendships and and manages to find hope amid disease and death.
Hurricane Katrina
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Caravantes, Peggy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 48 page book is part of the "Core Library: History's Greatest Disasters" series. The book describes the 2005 landfall of hurricane Katrina, focusing mostly on its impact in New Orleans. The book covers its formation as a storm, landfall, problems caused in New Orleans, clean up, and lessons learned. Primary source accounts are found at the end of some chapters along with common core related activities. Photographs are captioned and enhance the well-written, descriptive text. There are more activities (called "Stop and Think") at the end along with a table of contents, timeline, index, glossary, author information, and bibliography. Web resources are provided by the publisher's web site. A strong non-fiction purchase if you have a need.
Premeditated
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Mcquein, Josin L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Revenge novel. When Goth girl Dinah's 14-year-old cousin, Claire ends up in a coma after a suicide attempt, Dinah discovers her diary, learns what led to her decision, and decides to seek revenge. Within days, she has revamped her image, bleached out her black hair dye, and removed piercings in order to present herself as the sort of girl who might attend the elite private school where Claire was a student. Helped by Jackson "Dex" Dexter, a scholarship student at Lowry, and her friends Tabs and Brucey, Dinah starts turning the screws on Brooks. But the more she gets to know him, the more she doubts whether she's doing the right thing. McQuein doles out the backstory slowly via flashbacks and glimpses of Claire's diary, which lead to revelations that are gratifying yet not unexpected. Subplots give the story added substance, and Dinah's broken relationship with her mother underpins much of the novel's psychological aspect and offers commanding storytelling.
Saddle Bronc Riding
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, John
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the A&D Xtreme series on Rodeo events. The book covers all aspects of saddle bronc riding in a clear and concise manner. The book includes information about the history of rodeos, equipment, rules, scoring, potential injuries, and the use of pickup men to protect the riders. The book also discusses care of the horses. The large type text will appeal to readers as will the captioned color photographs. At times the white text is on top of a photograph making the text a little hard to read. The book includes a table of contents, index, and glossary. If you have a need for rodeo books, this would be a great book.
Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Walton, Leslye
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Ava Lavender, a typical girl in every respect except for the fact that she was born with wings, sits upon a family tree of doomed lovers(genealogical chart included). Her great-grandfather, her grandmother, her aunts and uncles, and her mother were either unlucky or foolish in matters of the heart. Family stories have become local legend, and Ava must explore them all to discover the two questions that haunt her: Where did I come from? . . . What would the world do with a girl such as I? What does it mean to be human? Ava is alternately shaped and trapped by her family’s saga. This is a mulch-generational novel wrapped in the language of fable, magical realism, and local legend. It examines love and considers the conflicting facets of loving and being loved--desire, despair, depression, obsession, self-love, and courage. Requires a mature reader looking for something different, but worth the work. Pair with Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus and Laura Esquival’s Like Water for Chocolate.
Steer Wrestling
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, John
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the A&D Xtreme series on Rodeo events. The book covers all aspects of steer wrestling in a clear and concise manner. The book includes information about the history of steer wrestling, equipment, rules, scoring, potential injuries, and the care of the steers. The large type text will appeal to readers as will the captioned color photographs. At times, the white text over a picture will make it a little hard to read. The book includes a table of contents, index, and glossary. If you have a need for rodeo books, this would be a great book.
Hit
Chicken House [Chicken House]
Burgess, Melvin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Live the ultimate High. Pay the ultimate Price. It’s dystopian Manchester, England and there is a new drug on the street that everyone is talking about, especially outlaw rocker Jimmy Earle. He plans to take Death during what he has advertised is his last concert where Earle plans to join the 27 Club – Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison. Adam plans to be at the concert with his posh girlfriend Lizzie. Earle tosses Death doses into the crowd, and Adam and Lizzie both catch a dose. Adams sees it as a way out of his poverty and thinks that a week of intense experience is worth the price. Lizzy disagrees both about the drug and about Adam’s pressure to have sex as part of the eventful last week; they fight and leave the concert only to be caught up the drug and disillusioned mayhem that erupts as a result of the concert. Adam’s brother Jess goes missing, Manchester in in chaos, and the Zealots, local, anti-corruption terrorists, are battling the government. Adam wonders that one-mind blowing week would be better than endless misery. Downing one of the Death pills, he’s about to find out. Stylish noir thriller plotted like D.O.A. Gruesome and gripping.
Promise Bound
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Brown, Anne Greenwood
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Ad/AD+ or R if you have the other two books. Book 3 in the Mermaid Trilogy. A clan of mermaids have been wreaking havoc on the shores of Lake Michigan, and two young lovers-mermaid Lily and mostly-human Calder-are trying to stop them while also coming to terms with their own identities and destinies. Now that Lily has become a mermaid, Calder’s feuding sisters pressure her to choose a side, each promising something she desperately wants -- to transform her mother in order to save her life. Meanwhile, Calder searches for his human mother to fulfill a promise made long ago by Nadia, the deceased mermaid matriarch. Which of the two mermaids can be trusted? Will Lily make costly mistakes, forcing her to descend to the depths of Lake Superior? And if Calder returns, will he be the same merman Lily grew to love? The stakes are high, with many lives at risk, but Calder and Lily must confront the past as well as their darkest impulses if they want a chance at being together.
World Outside
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Wiseman, Eva
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 07, 2014
Datisman, Eve
What does it mean to become an adult? For Chanie, a Hasidic Jew living in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in the early 1990s, it means marriage and a full commitment to her religion and culture. Chanie has always been curious as to why she can and cannot do certain things, curiosity that is not encouraged by her parents, especially her mother. Her interest in the world outside is enhanced when she meets David. Knowing of Chanie's immense musical talent, he encourages her to apply to Juliard-where she gets accepted- and to focus on herself instead of everyone else. Chanie's choice for her future becomes overshadowed by her terminally ill brother's death and the infamous 1991 Crown Heights riot, in which she witnesses the horrific attacks against Jewish homes, property, and people. Wiseman is known for choosing unique time periods in Jewish history for her books. She authentically portrays a young woman torn between two worlds. Ending is predictable and rushed, the writer relies too much on readers being familiar with Hasidic culture and should have woven in explanation of some of the rituals in the story, the dialog is somewhat contrived. high school students would be better served by Chaim Potok’s The Chosen or Davita’s Harp.
Silver
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Petersen, Christine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the Earth's Treasures series, this 8" x 8", 32 page book describes metal silver. Readers will learn how silver is used in money, art, mirrors, computers, and for healing. Readers learn of silver's composition, sources, and mining. The text is descriptive and clear. Photographs, mostly in color, are found on every page. Words found in the glossary are in bold typeface in the text. The book is complete with a large world map, a table of contents, glossary, and index. There is no bibliography and web resources are provided by the publisher's website. A good purchase if you have a need.
Bad Dog
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Mcphail, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 08, 2014
Garrard, Thom
Tom is a beloved family pet, but he can be bad. After he pulls dinner onto the floor, brings fleas into the parents’ bed, chases the cat, knocks over the television, and pees on the flowers, Dad is angry enough to banish the dog to the outside. But where is the cat? Fortunately, Tom knows. Once the cat is rescued, he is (temporarily) back in the family’s good graces, but the boy loves him regardless. The large font, short sentences, speech bubbles, and clear action depicted in the large watercolor illustrations all provide support for beginning readers. Young students will enjoy the idea that the boy’s unwavering love for his dog is not dependent on whether the dog is good or bad.
Hearts
TOON BOOKS [TOON BOOKS]
Rowe, Thereza
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 08, 2014
Garrard, Thom
This unusual graphic novel has a surreal storyline. After a fox watches her friend blast off in a rocket, she accidentally drops her broken heart in the water. She dives in after it, but a dolphin and a sea gull keep it just out of reach and then a paper airplane carries it into a heavily guarded palace. A horse helps her retrieve it and they flee, but a spear thrown by a pursuing guard catches it, and it is lost. Leaving on a bus, the saddened fox meets a rooster who has been riding on the vehicle's roof. He takes her to the garden of lost things and they find it again, but before they depart, a monster attacks. In order to save the rooster, she throws the heart to the monster. Safely away, the rooster gives the fox an egg, which contains a new heart. The limited amount of easy text is either a sound effect or is included in a speech bubble, so the story's narration is mostly done visually with the colorful cut-paper illustrations. In a note, the author explains her inspiration for the story, and endpapers give adults tips for reading graphic novels with children. Given the combination of beginning level text and a strange, complex plot, it is hard to figure out the target audience for this book or who will actually read it.
Day I Lost My Superpowers
ENCHANTED LION BOOKS [ENCHANTED LION BOOKS]
Escoffier, Michael
Di Giacomo, Kris
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 08, 2014
Garrard, Thom
In this American edition of a French picture book, a young girl narrates how she has worked to develop her superpowers, but the illustrations show that the reality is somewhat different. When she practices flying, for example, she is actually jumping off her bed or the slide. Making things disappear means eating them, although that works better on cupcakes than on peas. Communicating with animals is not as effective as talking to plants, especially when you tell them to freeze. When she falls and hurts herself one day, she finds that her mother also has a superpower, the magic kiss, which makes her feel better. In this large format book, the spare text leaves a lot of space for the simple crayon drawings. Although they are the source of the book’s gentle humor, the pictures utilize a limited palette of earth tones that create a rather subdued feeling and reduce the visual appeal. Given its universal message about the comfort that mothers provide in times of need, however, this will probably hold appeal for a number of young children.
Keeping Clean
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Lang, Elizabeth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 08, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Healthy Kids" series, this 24 page book looks at ways kids can practice good hygiene. Although the cover has a really young child and the title seems simple, the book is really for the older primary set or for a teacher to use with a class. Topics include: washing hands, washing feet, cutting and cleaning nails, cleaning hair (lice is discussed), cleaning ears, washing your face, and flossing and brushing teeth, The book contains basic, but descriptive text, Color photographs are found through out. The book closes with a hands-on activity: making your own toothpaste. An index, glossary, table of contents, and bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website) are included. This is a general purpose book that could be used in primary grade health units.
Ice Dogs
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Johnson, Terry Lynn
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 08, 2014
Lewis, Jo
Victoria Secord, a fourteen-year-old Alaskan dogsled racer, loses her way on a routine outing with her dogs. With food gone and temperatures dropping, her survival and that of her dogs and the mysterious boy she meets in the woods is entirely up to her. The author is a musher herself and writes with experience about the world of dog sledding. The main character is feeling lost after the death of her father in a sledding accident for which she feels responsibility. After finding a city boy injured in the snow, she attempts to rescue him and herself during a dangerous snow storm. The characters grow in their understanding of each other, leaving behind their stereotypes. This is a very believable adventure. I recommend this book for state nominated books particularly in the Pacific Norwest and other northern states. It’s a winner!
Quinny & Hopper
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Schanen, Adriana
Swearingen, Greg
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 08, 2014
Lewis, Jo
Two summer time friends stick together as they deal with stylish bullies, a killer chicken and looming "Third Grade Rules" that specify that boys and girls can’t be friends. Quinny is very nervous about succeeding in the third grade and Hopper is all over the place trying to get used to a new neighborhood and friendships. This charming story showcases a spirited friendship with its ups and downs. The characters grow in believable ways. It’s right on the button for the fears and hopes of a young boy facing transition into third grade and a new girl in the neighborhood trying to make a place for herself.
Pigsticks And Harold And The Incredible Journey
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Milway, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 08, 2014
Lewis, Jo
Pigsticks, the last member of a line of family explorers, along with his assistant, Harold, set off on a journey through jungles, over deserts, and up a mountain to find the “Ends of the Earth.” Pigsticks twists the arm of a delivery hamster to do all the heavy lifting, enticed to come along for a bite of tea cake at the conclusion of the trip. Reminds me of the safari treks I’ve read about where others do all the carrying while the leader trots along in their spotless safari suit. I liked the story but my son-in-law, a university professor of ethics, didn’t like all the persuasive techniques and broken promises Pigsticks uses, to take advantage of the hapless hamster. With generous colorful full page illustrations this charming story will appeal! Good mix of illustration and text. Author of the “Mousehunter” series.
Millhouse
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Ghent, Natale
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 08, 2014
Lewis, Jo
Millhouse, a sensitive hairless guinea pig, was raised in a theatre but is one day abandoned to a pet store where he must deal with brainless gerbils, vicious ferrets and other snooty guinea pigs, none of whom appreciate his acting talent and knowledge of Shakespeare plays and the theatre. He longs to return to the theatre. One day, intelligent pet rats help him escape his cage and sneak off to the theatre once more. One reviewer said it would appeal to “I, Freddy” and “Charlotte’s Web” fans. It is NOT as charming as Charlotte’s web. I found it somewhat slow and am not sure it will be finished once started. Has a high reading level for a book seemingly intended for younger readers. Level 6.7 (Titlewave)
Classroom : Trick Out My School!
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Mellom, Robin
Gilpin, Stephen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 08, 2014
Lewis, Jo
A documentary film crew has descended upon Westside Middle School to detail the life of an average seventh grader named Trevor Jones and his classmates. Using one-on-one interviews and film footage, as well as notebook drawings, blueprints, clipboard sketches, and doodles, they tell the story of one school's tricked-out makeover. Say good-bye to those squeaky seats, and hello to beanbag chairs? Chocolate fountains in the lunchroom? ? Is the shallowness of these TV reality shows being revealed? The disjointed formatting of this story made it difficult to enjoy the characters or the plot. Based on the popularity of reality TV shows where someone’s house is renovated in a short period. I had difficulty following the many characters and the choppy style of the presentation. There are many illustrations, sidebars and change of font styles. Maybe students who enjoy semi-graphic novels will enjoy this more than I did.
Shapes On A Farm
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Gaarder-Juntti, Oona
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "Shapes Everywhere" series. The 24 page book opens by explaining the difference between 2-D and 3-D shapes. Then eight shapes are described. Each shape has a two-page spread that includes the shape name, it's outline on a farm photograph, a simple picture of the shape, and a few story sentences that connect farm action with the shape. This would be a good book to use with students who need extra help identifying shapes or with English Language Learners. The book includes a glossary of words used in the story (shape names are not in the glossary as they are shown in the text).
AMERICA'S CUP
A&D XTREME [ABDO]
HAMILTON, S L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Xtreme Races" series. It describes the America's Cup sail race held annually since 1851. The cup is the oldest trophy in international competition. Full page color photographs are found throughout the book. Much of the text is either black or white on a photographic background which might bother some readers. The history, course, rules, the qualifying Challenger Cup, the start, and dangers are covered in a brief paragraph or two. The text is well written and will excite readers. The book has the traditional non-fiction text features: table of contents, glossary, and index, there is no bibliography. This would be good purchase for reluctant readers and young sailing fans.
Wrenches
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Gregory, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page book is about wrenches. The book defines wrenches as tools that tighten or loosen things. The book describes how wrenches work and the various kinds one might find. Each two page spread has a colorful captioned photograph on one page and text on the other. A focus question appears within each chapter to connect the book to the Common Core. The six words in the glossary are printed in bold within the text. The book also has a table of contents, bibliography, index, and author information (2 sentences...he writes, he lives in Chicago). Purchase if you have a curriculum need for this type of material.
Sea Turtle Scientist
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Swinburne, Stephen R
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 09, 2014
Wittmann, Paula
Dr. Kimberley Stewart studies leatherback sea turtle on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. She spends her time tracking, tagging, and examining the turtles that climb onto shore to lay eggs. With a cadre of volunteers, the nests are carefully monitored and sometimes even moved to safer terrain to encourage successful hatches and to track how many baby turtles are born. Dr. Stewart also collects additional data from fisherman who catch turtles to sell and, while paying them to study what they catch, also she works to educate them on the plight of the sea turtles. This education is also carried out through local school visits and events, and through eco tourism. Readers will learn many things about the leatherbacks that have survived for so long on the earth, as well as the many tasks that a conservation scientists might do as part of their job. This is another fine addition to the excellent Scientist in the Field Series.
Motordog
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Cyrus, Kurt
Gordon, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 09, 2014
Garrard, Thom
In search of a perfect pet, Flip places an online order for a robotic canine. This seems to work out fine until the dog spots a cat and activates the booster rockets that extend from his back. Rebooting the dog helps temporarily, but the chase resumes when helicopter blades come out of his back. As the dog and the boy fly up towards the cat in the tree, the boy loses his grip on the leash and plummets towards the ground. The dog gives up the chase and rockets to the rescue. Even without his electronic gadgets, Motor Dog proves to be the perfect pet. Told in rhyming couplets, this action-packed story is imaginative and fun. The simple, colorful illustrations sometimes use interesting perspectives and are filled with energy, especially when the devices are deployed. Young children will enjoy the technology, the humor, the swift resolution of the moment of peril, and the magical transformation of Motor Dog.
Swat Team Tools
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Hanson, Anders
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "More Professional Tools" series, this 24 page book looks at four tools a SWAT team would use. The reader first learns what SWAT means, what a SWAT officer does, and why they need tools. Then the four tools are highlighed in a double page photograph. Each subsequent chapter looks at one of the tools. The chapters begin with a photo of the tool with its parts labeled. Then there is three narrative running across each page. The top one include "fast facts" relating to the tool, the middle is the color photographs, and the bottom has a story narrative. This makes the book versatile and good for several readings. The book could also be used with older students to show good examples of labeling. The book closes with a matching game and a true/false quiz. The book has a table of contents and a glossary (but no index). A good purchase for your library that will fly off the shelf.
1980 U.s. Olympic Boycott
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Gitlin, Martin
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "History Perspectives" series, this 32 page book examines the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games held in Moscow, Russia. The book presents three narratives and point of views, from a Soviet athlete (con), an American athlete (pro), and a member of the U.S Olympic Committee (pro). The narrative explain their position. Along the way, the reader learns why countries boycotted these Olympics and the result of the boycott. A few related photographs are found in each section. There is also some simple common core related activities: tell the main point and find some supporting details, find similarities and difference between narratives, and compare with an alternate source. When comparing with an alternate source there is no information on where or how you might find another source (not even in the bibliography). The book has a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, author information, and index. There are no source notes which makes this book troubling. Also, there is no narrative from an American who did not support the boycott. While the book concept is worthy, the actual book falls a little short.
Types Of Maps
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Waldron, Melanie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book gives the reader a great basic overview of the many different kinds of maps. It is part of the "Let's Get Mapping" series. The book opens with information about what a map it, how it is used, and how it represents a flattened earth. Then the various kinds of maps are explored: political, physical, transportation, weather, topographical, land use, statistical, tourist, space, and more. The book mentions electronic maps and how different types of maps can be combined (for example: wind speed and wind farm locations). Color photographs enhance the clear and concise text. A short quiz is found at the end. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, and index. This book would make a strong addition to your collection.
On The Hardwood : Cleveland Cavaliers
Mvp Books (Lerner) [Mvp Books (Lerner)]
Birle, Pete
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "On the Hardwood" series, that will eventually cover all 30 NBA teams. This 47 page book might be of interest to Cleveland Cavaliers fans, but will not see much circulation elsewhere. The opening chapter is about star, Kyrie Irving. It seems tedious and will be a challenge for readers to keep their interest. The text then follow describes the Cavs in the 1970s, mediocrity in the 80s and 90s, and LeBron James coming to the team and then leaving the team. The reader never learns how the team was named or when it was established. The narrative ends in 2013, so the return of James is not in this book. The text layout is poor. Basketball fans will appreciate the captioned, color photographs. This book contains none of the traditional non-fiction text features except for a table of contents. A glossary, index, and timeline would be helpful. Even though this is an officially licensed product of the NBA, there are other books about sports teams that are better written and designed.
Gift For Mama
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Lodding, Linda Ravin
Jay, Alison
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 09, 2014
Wittmann, Paula
In this circular tale, set in the 1890s in Vienna, a boy’s kindness is spread from character to character and then returned to him. Oskar buys a yellow rose for his mother’s birthday present but, through a series of trades that make various strangers happy, he ends up with a paintbrush, then some sheet music, a book, and a box of candy in turn. Eventually, the yellow rose is returned to him and he runs home to present it to his mother who is delighted. The story is charming and the detailed whimsical illustrations by Alison Jay capture the setting and the charm perfectly.
Wing Wing Brothers Geometry Palooza!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Long, Ethan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 09, 2014
Wittmann, Paula
Walter, Willy, Woody, Wilmer and Wendell the goofy and wacky Wing Wing brothers are back and this time their show highlights simple geometric shapes and concepts. In the first act, they fly above, behind, beside, below and finally through a flaming circle. In the second act, they use a magic wand to combine simple shapes into new ones. In the final act, a box containing Walter is sawn into halves and then quarters before being put back together (though his brothers do end up needing a little glue to really make him back to one piece.) The birds are goofy and kids will love them, and they really do get those math concepts clearly across.
Look And See : A What's-Not-The-Same-Game
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Kontzias, Bill
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 09, 2014
Williams, Karen I.
Activity books where the reader looks at the first picture and then compares with the second picture to find what is new, gone, and moved with changes listed for how many of each. The fun starts with the front cover compared to the back cover and includes comparing the fly papers at the front and the back. Colorful, progressively more complex and difficult with answers in the back of the book. Searches include : From the Sea; Prehistoric; Craft Scraps; Safari Switch; Mess of Letters; Birds and Blocks; Happy Faces; Metamorphosis; We love Buttons; Down the Road; Float and Fly; Shifting Shapes; Color Full; with Puffs and Pipe Cleaners as the fly papers. Fun for all - even adults. See what differences you can find. Looking for more from commercial photographer Bill Kontzias after a successful first book.
California
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Orr, Tamra B
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "American the Beautiful" series, this revised edition covers the Golden State, The 144 pages contain information about California's geography, history, culture, economy, and government. The book is lively and colorful. Readers will enjoy the color, captioned photographs and the bright, engaging layout. Sidebars give the reader additional information to enhance the well-written text. Timelines are found on the bottom of the first page in each history chapter, as well as, in the end matter. My only complaint was that the boxes showing the regions on the small maps in the travel section seemed to be inaccurate (i.e. gold country is identified around Santa Barbara instead of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada). A final chapter titled "Project Room" contains writing, art, and STEM project ideas. The book is complete with a table of contents, biographical dictionary, fast facts, glossary, index, and bibliography. This book will be valuable for students working on research projects. A worthwhile purchase if you are updating your state books.
Berlin Wall
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Zuchora-Walske, Christin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 122 page book is part of the "Essential Events" series. It provides an in depth look at the Berlin Wall (1961-1989). The wall divided the city West and East and served at a point of stress in the Cold War. Readers learn the background of the situation before the East Germans built the wall, how people adjusted to the wall, the escapes over, under, and through the wall, and finally the dismantling of the wall. Side bars give readers additional information to help with understanding. Photographs enhance the well-written text. The book has all of the typical non-fiction text features: table of contents, timeline, index, bibliography, glossary, source notes, and author information. A strong purchase if you have a need for this topic in your curriculum.
Constellation Orion : The Story Of The Hunter
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Ringstad, Arnold
Morrow, Jt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is a hybrid non-fiction book. It describes the Constellation Orion and the Greek mythology behind it. The first chapter tackles the astronomy information explaining stars and constellations, the stars that make up Orion, and related stars. The second chapter explains the origin of the myth of Orion, son of Poseidon, and how the Greeks came to name the constellation. The third chapter is the myth of Orion and the final chapters explains how other cultures view the constellation and how the reader can find it in the sky today. Sidebars contain more details about topics covered in the text. Words found in the glossary are bold in the text. The book also has non-fiction features such as a table of contents, bibliography, and index. Web resources are provided through the publisher's web page and author/illustrator information can be found on the verso. The book would find use in sixth grade ancient world units and in astronomy units. A Strong purchase when you update your astronomy section.
Time
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Pistoia, Sara
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "Simply Math" series. In its 24 pages readers can investigate the concept of time. Starting with calendars the book discusses months and weeks and days. The book gives some of the ways calendars can be used. Then the book looks at clocks. Readers learn about hours, and minutes. A variety of clocks are shown including a stopwatch and timer. Both digital and analog are shown. Color photographs will draw the reader in. Call out boxes will ask the readers questions about the topic discussed. The text is descriptive and well-written. The book includes a list of key words (bolded in the text) however there are no definitions. The book also has an index. One thing to note, while AM and PM are shown on the back cover, that concept is not really covered in the text. Teachers could use this book with small groups.
Graphs
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Pistoia, Sara
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Simply Math" series, this 24 page book looks at a variety of graphs. Picture graphs, bar graphs, and line graphs are described. Color photographs enhance the text and call out boxes will engage the reader. Readers are presented graphs and asked a series of questions so they can see the usefulness of the particular graph. The book has a list of key words (but no definitions) and an index. This book would work well in a small group setting.
DIEGO RIVERA : AN ARTIST FOR THE PEOPLE
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS]
RUBIN, SUSAN GOLDMAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 10, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Rivera's life is presented through the lens of his art, making his love of Mexico and traditional Mexican art real and his search for his own artistic style an intriguing journey. The illustrations include images of Rivera's murals, his "cartoon" drawings, reproductions of art that he found influential, and photographs. The design, with scroll work along the top and bottom and an unusual placement of page numbers, exudes style. The text is clearly written, straightforward, and attention-grabbing, with a good number of quotes interspersed throughout. Rivera's weaknesses and failures, such as his womanizing and the Rockefeller controversy, are presented honestly and without judgment-just the facts as they are known. Even though his marriage to Frida Kahlo the Mexican Surrealist, ended in divorce because of his unfaithfulness, they remained close friends until her death in 1954 and influenced each other’s work. Thoughtful sections about Mexican history as represented in Rivera's artwork.. Drawing heavily from Rivera's autobiographical account, the book combines narrative with examples of his own paintings and other artistic influences. Author's notes, source notes, and art credits add to the value. Bibliography. Glossary. Index.
Legends, Icons & Rebels : Music That Changed The World
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Robertson, Robbie
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 10, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Robertson, best known as a member of the Band, and his co-writers introduce the heavyweights of popular music to a new generation. The tribute provides two-page biographies of 27 artists from Hank Williams to Bob Dylan to The Beach Boys to Aretha Franklin to Frank Sinatra to Bob Marley, placing each one in the context of music history. The crucial contributions of African-American musicians, both to the development of rock and roll and to the Civil Rights movement, are celebrated. "At one concert, [Sam Cooke] was told he would have to perform twice: once for a white audience and another show for an all African-American audience. Sam refused." Unexpected connections in the family tree of music are traced, too. Jimi Hendrix started out touring with Little Richard; Merle Haggard was a convict in the audience when Johnny Cash performed in San Quentin. The first of each musician's two spreads features a striking, album art-style painting that evokes each star's style and genre of music (15 illustrators contribute), while the second contains the biography. Two CDs include a single hit from each musician, an impressive collection. The audio quality is excellent as is the art work – great introduction to artists and their impact.
SKINNY
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
COONER, DONNA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 10, 2014
Knight, Jennifer
15-year old Ever Davies weighs 320 pounds. Since the death of her mother when she was 10, Ever has eaten to escape and heard the abusive voice of "Skinny" in her head. "Skinny" constantly belittles Ever, telling her that she's not good enough and providing a running commentary on what people are "really" thinking of her. After Ever is humiliated after breaking a chair she's sitting on in front of the student body at a school assembly, she decides to undergo gastric bypass surgery. With the help of her dedicated friend "Rat", she begins to make progress losing weight after her surgery but still hears "Skinny" mocking her. As she loses weight will Ever find happiness?
Swim That Rock
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Rocco, John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 10, 2014
Knight, Jennifer
14-year old Jake Cole has to make money...and fast. If he and his mother don't come up with $10,000 by the end of the month, their family diner will be repossessed by loan sharks and Jake will lose the only chance he has of seeing his missing father. When a modern pirate named "Captain", shows up with his father's knife and offers Jake an opportunity to make some money, he decides against his better judgment to accept the offer. By night Jake works for the shady Captain; by day he works for the best quahogger on Narragansett Bay, his friend Gene. After Gene is brutally injured, Jake takes over his quahog boat. Will he be able to quahog on his own? Can he make enough money to save the family business? And how did Captain end up with his dad's knife? Set in Rhode Island, this clammy tale will be a hit with middle grade readers looking for an action-packed read.
Horizon
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Terrell, Brandon
Tortosa, Wilson
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 10, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
The Revolution is a group of teens who have gathered broken pieces of Tony Hawk's prized skateboard. They try to keep those pieces safe while searching for the remaining pieces. At the same time, people from the Collective will do anything it takes to take control of all the pieces. The attraction is the power that each piece contains and thus transfers to the human who possesses it. Horizon is volume 13 and the last title in the series. Readers should read at least one book in the series prior to this title to understand the plot. Danger, excitement, skateboarding (of course), and working together toward a common goal are attributes that will entice the reader. The few pages of graphic novel artwork are interesting and appropriate to the story. The low reading level works for struggling readers.
Book Of Babies
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Na, Il Sung
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 10, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
A noisy duckling is born and follows around different animals to learn about their babies ("Some are born with soft, warm fur, while some are born with smooth scales."). Eventually, the noisy duckling and its siblings become sleepy ducklings and drift off to sleep. As the many animals are shown but not named, children will have fun identifying the animals. Author/illustrator Il Sung Na has several other sweet picture books out, and this one is full of illustrations created by "combining handmade painterly textures with digitally generated layers... compiled in Adobe photoshop." With creative illustrations, and a cute, sweet, simple story, this picture book will be popular with younger crowds in a school or public library and would be great for spring story time.
Tea With Grandpa
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Saltzberg, Barney
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 10, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
A little girl (and her cat) and her grandpa (and his dog) have tea every day at "half past 3". This picture book tells the story of what they talk about and do during their tea time together. The last page reveals that they are far away from each other and are having tea via the internet. The book is very sweet and the there are minimal words in large font on each page. The illustrations are very straight forward and the end papers feature the dog and cat enjoying tea. Obviously, this book is the perfect gift for a long distance Grandpa. While not ideal for a school library, it would work well in a public library and for a story time about families.
Leaping At Shadows
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Atwood, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 10, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
This fiction book aimed at reluctant readers is the first in the series The Dario Quincy Academy of Dance ("Ballet. Gossip. Evil Spirits."). The series revolves around 5 students who are at the country's top residential ballet school as they handle teen angst, ballet technique, and a seriously creepy old school. This first book follows Madeleine, a new student on scholarship, who is trying to prove her worth and handle dance rivalries. She and her frenemies are soon caught up in an ancient evil mystery that turns out to involve a curse and a cult. The book ends with solving the immediate, small mystery, but the larger overall mystery remains. While the ideas are pretty far-fetched, the fast paced plot will hold readers' attention, and it great for both fans of ballet and creepy mysteries. Publisher Lerner lists the reading level as 4th grade and the interest level as 6th-12th grade. The book is 95 pages long and does not contain illustrations. Should be a popular series for middle grade students and struggling readers.
Penguin In Peril
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Hancocks, Helen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 10, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
3 hungry cats hatch a plot to kidnap a penguin in order to have a "fishy feast". While they do successfully steal one from the zoo, the penguin manages to escape, thanks to convenient city crowds full of nuns, business men, and waiters, all in black and white outfits. Once penguin is safe at home, the cats are jailed and receive only gruel, no fish. This 2012 (U.K., 2014 in the U.S.) picture book contains mixed media illustrations and fun end papers, but isn't particularly outstanding in any way. The book is cute and perfectly serviceable for a school or public library.
Cleopatra In Space : 1 : Target Practice
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Maihack, Mike
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 10, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
Yes, it’s that Cleopatra who is catapulted forward in time from her life in Egypt to save a future civilization. Full of snarky humor and really expressive art – pay special attention to the emotions on Cleo’s face as she copes with school is a completely different culture. She’s going to save the world but she still has plenty to learn.
Changers : Book One : Drew
Black Sheep [Black Sheep]
Cooper, T
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 10, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
Many students were intrigued by David Levithan’s Every Day and the protagonist who woke up every morning in the body of a different teen. Drew’s story is a pretty good read-alike. Just before starting 9th grade, Ethan wakes up in the body of a very nice looking girl his age named Drew, and his parents are delighted. Dad is a Changer, and both parents have been hoping that Ethan is as well. Dad happily explains that for the four years of high school Ethan will be given a different body and personality; at the end he will choose which of the four identities to keep for life. Ethan is horrified and the indoctrination he receives from the Changers organization about his new role isn’t that reassuring. Changers are meant to impact the world for good, but the specifics are hazy, and one of Drew’s new Changer friends joins a rebel group seeking to expose the changers. Plenty for readers to talk about. Book One in the “Changers” series.
I Kill The Mockingbird
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Acampora, Paul
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 10, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
Lucy’s summer before starting high school is full of changes and constants. Constants are Elena and Michael, parochial school friends who have managed to stay buddies through 8th grade in spite of puberty and the awkwardness of Lucy’s dad being the school principal. Although they are all a bit apprehensive about starting high school, it’s a Catholic school, most of their school friends will continue on, and even their 8th grade English teacher is moving up with them. Lucy’s mom is home, almost miraculously cancer-free after months of treatment following a very grim prognosis; Mom wants life to return to normal but Lucy is having a hard time letting go of worry. Elena sees that Lucy and Michael are moving toward romance but Lucy is hesitant to risk their close friendship. All is played out against the backdrop of their summer project – a scheme to make people want to read To Kill a Mockingbird (one of the summer reading titles) by a clever media campaign in addition to the truly reprehensible (but funny) strategy of going into bookstores and libraries and mis-shelving copies of Mockingbird.
D-Day : The Invasion Of Normandy, 1944
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Atkinson, Rick
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 10, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
D-Day in 200 pages can’t help but feel a bit scattered and the book design makes it hard to find a sensible entry point. The first twelve pages consist of a map legend (no map), lists, timelines, and short bios of the major players. Then there’s the Note to Readers which should have come first and should have begun with a couple of sentences explaining World War II and the place of D-Day within that war. The sections on the plan for attack and the invasion are pretty gripping and the reader is left wondering how the Allies succeeded with so many of the attack plans gone wrong. The concluding ten pages are more short pieces about the war – what soldiers carried, etc. They are interesting but I could not see a clear reason for their placement all together or in that part of the book. Grumbling aside, readers with some prior knowledge of World War II will be fascinated, and those who are pretty new to the topic will be intrigues by the abundant photos, short chapters, and reasonably accessibly writing.
Celebrations Around The World
Wonder Readers/capstone Press [Wonder Readers/capstone Press]
Gregory, Helen
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Wonder Readers: Next Steps: Social Studies" series, this small (7.5" x 6.5"), 20 page book is a quick look at holidays around the world. The book is divided into seasonal sections. Each season has 4 pages (Summer has only 2 pages). Each page has a color photograph and two sentences about the holiday. The only American holidays shown are Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, Earth Day, and July Fourth. While the book describes Oktoberfest, is not named. There is no pronunciation help. The book provides a very cursory overview and will probably not be very useful. There is a table of contents, four word glossary, and index. Internet resources are provided through the publisher's website. There are better books about holidays that will serve your students.
Skateboarding By The Numbers
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Bussiere, Desiree
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Sports By the Numbers" series, this small (7.5" x 6.5"), 24 page book looks at the numbers found in skateboarding. The book opens with a description of the measurements of a skate park (there aren't very many) and the name for the ramps and obstacles. Then, each two page spread contains a color photograph, one or two narrative sentences, and a mathematical story problem (using basic addition and subtraction). Answers are found in the back matter, which also includes some extra facts about skateboarding and a glossary. Students interested in skateboarding will pick up this book for the pictures and it could be used in small group math instruction.
Swimming By The Numbers
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Bussiere, Desiree
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Sports By the Numbers" series, this small (7.5" x 6.5"), 24 page book looks at the numbers found in swimming. The book opens with a description of the measurements of a swimming pool, the name for the various lines, and information about the strokes. Then, each two page spread contains a color photograph, one or two narrative sentences, and a mathematical story problem (using basic addition and subtraction). Answers are found in the back matter, which also includes some extra facts about swimming and a glossary. This will probably have little interest for students, but could be used with small math groups.
Tennis By The Numbers
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Bussiere, Desiree
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Sports By the Numbers" series, this small (7.5" x 6.5"), 24 page book looks at the numbers found in tennis. The book opens with a description of the measurements of a tennis court, the name for the various lines, and the scoring system. Then, each two page spread contains a color photograph, one or two narrative sentences, and a mathematical story problem (using basic addition and subtraction). Answers are found in the back matter, which also includes some extra facts about tennis and a glossary. This will probably have little interest for students, but could be used with small math groups.
Find Out About Farming
Wonder Readers/capstone Press [Wonder Readers/capstone Press]
Gregory, Helen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Wonder Readers: Next Steps: Social Studies" series, this small (7.5" x 6.5"), 20 page book is a quick look at farms. The book covers different types of farms, kinds of crops, and farm animals. Each page has a color photograph and one or two simple sentences. There is a Venn Diagram activity (it assumes readers know what one is!) at the end comparing farms with the city. The book also has a glossary, table of contents, and index. Web resources are provided through the publisher's website. This book would be helpful in small group instruction before a farm field trip, or might be used under a document camera.
Dream Dog
SCHWARTZ & WADE [SCHWARTZ & WADE]
Berger, Lou
Catrow, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 11, 2014
Garrard, Thom
Harry desperately wants a dog. Unfortunately, his father’s allergies make that impossible. His dad brings him a lizard instead. Harry likes it, but he doesn’t love it. Taking charge of matters, Harry puts on his special helmet and imagines a dog - which then pops into the world! They play together, snuggle together, and bathe together. After a job change, his father’s allergies abate, so he brings Harry a real, live dog. The new dog finally seems to notice the imaginary one when Harry puts the special helmet on him. Then all three go outside to run and play together. The imaginary dog disappears while happily chasing a cloud into the sky. Knowing his old friend is happy, Harry contentedly heads for home with his new friend at his side. The fanciful illustrations in Catrow’s signature style enhance the joy, energy, and humor of the story. The author honors the power of a child’s imagination by portraying the shift from having an imaginary pet to owning a real one as a gradual transition. The special feelings that the boy had for his first dog were unquestionably real. Only after he brings the two worlds together can he imagine a happy ending and release the dog into the sky. A touching conclusion to a lovely story.
LADY GAGA : POP'S GLAM QUEEN
21st Century [21st Century]
DOEDEN, MATT
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 11, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
From the Lifeline Biographies series by USA Today, this book tells the life story of entertainer Lady Gaga, up through 2011. Statistics and articles from USA Today are used throughout the book, and the writing quality and information included is fine, but nothing special. Features include an introduction, 8 chapters, timeline, discography, notes, index, and further information. Plenty of pictures of Lady Gaga's wild outfits are included, as well as several In Focus: Musical Influence boxes. The problem, as always, with biographies about people who are still alive and active in their body of work is that the biography quickly becomes outdated, and this one is no exception. Information boxes included in this book feel especially dated, particularly a Twitter followers poll from 2010 and a Youtube watching poll from 2008.
UNEXPECTED TWIST
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
MOCEANU, DOMINIQUE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 11, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
Co-authored by Olympic gold medal gymnast Dominique Moceanu, this series is perfect for young fans of competitive gymnastics. At 210 pages with slightly enlarged text and a glossary of gymnastics terms at the end, this book is accessible to middle grade readers interested in a mix of gymnastics and friendship/school/family drama (though not too much drama). Christina is a member of the Texas Twisters, a competitive gymnastics gym, along with her friends Noelle, Britt, and Jessie. Her father is absent but caring (frequently away on work trips), and her mother has dedicated her life to getting Christina to the Olympics, putting pressure on young Christina that is hard to bear. An injury threatens her chances at competing and forces her family to reevaluate how their dynamic works. There is some slight romance and the drama never becomes too much, resulting in a nice, easy wrap up perfect for younger readers. Expect this series to be very popular in your library.
Body Shot
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Jones, Patrick
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 11, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
From The Dojo series aimed at garnering the interest of low level readers, this 97 page book tells the story of Meghan, a senior in high school who is struggling after a car accident left her orphaned and scarred both inside and out. She is doing poorly in school, rejecting friendships, and popping pills to ignore both physical and emotional pain. Her only area of true success and passion is in the MMA cage. Meghan's efforts to get clean largely happen "off camera" and rather more breezily than in real life, but despite the neat, not very true to life little wrap up of her problems at the end, the book is fairly realistic and will certainly grab the attention of the intended audience. Fans of mixed martial arts and the UFC will enjoy this series, and for those new to this world, there is an appendix of terms and weight classes at the back of the book. The author is a former teen librarian and a well informed MMA fan. Lerner Publishing lists the reading level as grade 4 and the interest level as grade 6-12.
Little Benguin
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Spagnol, Estelle Billon
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 11, 2014
Garrard, Thom
Bunny and Penguin fall in love and have a baby, Little Benguin. Since he is neither one species nor the other, he is shunned by both groups. Sometimes he is proud of his uniqueness, but other times he just wants to be normal. One day a wolf comes looking for a meal and starts to chase him, but since Little Benguin can run like a rabbit and swim like a penguin, he escapes. The wolf, on the other hand, meets his demise underwater. Little Benguin is hailed as a hero, and at the party held in his honor, he meets the love of his life, a turtle. The colorful crayon drawings are expressive and add some subtle humor. Children who are aware that their own uniqueness is readily apparent will identify with Little Benguin’s ambivalence about whether being different is good or bad. They will also appreciate his success at finding his hidden strengths. Students who appear more “normal” can always benefit from this reminder that the talents of others may simply have yet to surface.
Can You See Me?
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Lewin, Ted
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This simple 30 page picture book looks at animals in the tropical rain forest. The book is full of beautiful two page spreads. It begins with a wide view of the rain forest, then each subsequent spread shows one animal and two sentences: I am a _______. Can you see me? This continues until the last few animals when the second sentence changes slightly. The book ends with a repeat of the initial illustration. The final page gives the more complete name of the animal with a small picture. The watercolor illustration are gorgeous. Could be used during a rain forest unit of study.
Beavers' Busy Year
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Holland, Mary
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Through color photographs and well written text, readers learn about beavers. Each two page spread includes a full color photo overlayed with informational text. The reader learns about the lodge, their teeth, kits, grooming habits, and more. The end matter contains more information about the beavers impact on the environment, dam building, and beaver signs. The book does not have non-fiction text features (such as glossary, index, or bibliography), however most words are defined within the text. This book would work well as an example on informational text and for basic animal research. 32 pages.
The Case of the Bike in the Birdcage
Excite Kids Press [Excite Kids Press]
JACOBS, BRIAN C.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 11, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
Book 2 in the Enigma Squad series finds the 7th grade members of the mystery solving Enigma Squad (Tyler, Scooter, and AJ) taking on what seems to be a simple stolen bike crime, which of course becomes much more complex, dangerous, and code-filled. This 243 page book with slightly enlarged font is geared at fans of the Hardy Boys and other young, plucky, slightly old fashioned crime solvers. The book begins with a big plug for reading book 1 and throughout the book, narrator Tyler directly addressed the reader as "you", resulting in a voice that is distracting from the plot. The book overall lacks polish and this reviewer didn't care for the voice and tone of the book, but the book does benefit from being by a local publisher (Excite Kids Press in Poulsbo), an enthusiastic local author (from Bremerton), and a familiar setting (Silverdale, WA).
Jim Brown : Football Great & Actor
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Gitlin, Marty
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Legendary Athletes" series, this 112 page biography looks at the life of football star and actor, Jim Brown. The book opens with a chapter detailing Brown's contribution to the 1964 Cleveland Browns NFL Championship. The book then follow his life from birth in the segregated south to college at Syracuse University. The book details the racism he experienced and how he worked to overcome obstacles. He was drafted by the Browns in 1957 and played for them until 1966 when he left football to begin an acting career. The book describes his ups and downs in life, including jail time. In 2013 he was hired to help the Cleveland Browns again. Because Brown is still alive, this book will soon be out of date. Photographs are found throughout the book and enhance the well-written text. Call out boxes give the reader extra background information that will help in their understanding. The book also contains a table of contents, timeline, fact pages, glossary, bibliography (websites resources provided through the publisher's web page), source notes, index, and author information. The book will give student researches a great deal of information about this interesting man.
Great White Shark
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Furstinger, Nancy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Great Predators" series, this 48 page book will delight your older shark fans. The book looks at the great white shark's habitat, life cycle, food, and its relationship with humans. The book ends with a chapter that discusses the future of this ocean predator. Call out boxes give the reader additional background information that will help them to better understand the well-written text. Color photographs and diagrams will also be enjoyed by readers. Common Core activities are found at the end of most chapters (and will be ignored by most readers). The book has additional activities in the back matter along with a glossary, bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher website), index, and author information. A table of contents is also present. A strong purchase if you are refreshing your shark section.
Examining Water Power
Clara House Books [Clara House Books]
Cooke, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 48 page book is part of the "Examining Energy" series examines hydroelectric power. The book is written in a narrative tone. It follows a student researching this form of power. The researcher learns how humans have harnessed water for thousands of years. The book discusses how dams are built and how the water cycle allows us to use this renewable resource. Controversy with fish and wild stretches of rivers are also explored. The latter chapters look at getting energy from tides and geothermal water sources. The book ends with some questions for the reader to consider after reading all of the information contained in the book. There are also some activities. Color, captioned photographs and diagrams are found throughout the book. The text is well-written. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, and index. This book would be a great resource for science classes.
Wildfires
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Rowell, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 48 page book is part of the "Core Library: Earth in Action" series. The book looks at wildfires, particularly in the United States (the book does mention they occur elsewhere in the world). The book begins with a chapter on the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado, then tells how fires are caused and studied. The book describes how fires are fought and the effect of the fires on humans and on the environment. The last chapter focuses on prevention. The book has short descriptions of 10 especially destructive wildfires including five fires not in the U.S.. At the end of some chapters are common core related activities that will be ignored by most readers. Color captioned photographs and side bars enhance the well-written text. The book has the typical non-fiction features: table of contents, glossary, bibliography (web resources are found on the publisher's website), index, and two sentences about the author. A good purchase for your library since we are aware of the annual wildfires in the Cascades.
One Tricky Monkey Up On Top
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Rooney, Ronnie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Magic Castle Readers: Math" series, this 32 page book give readers the opportunity to count objects one to five. The book opens with two pages about "work windows and "magic castles" which are books and a library. A girl, Kara, opens a word window and then our story begins. Kara is helping a clown find and put animals in a circus train. One monkey goes in car one, two seals go in car two. The tricky monkey keeps popping up at then end of each number. Once she finds five elephants, the animals are able to make a pyramid with the tricky monkey on top. Color illustrations are found throughout. The book has 5 comprehension questions on the final page. Students learning to read and count will like this book.
Apes Find Shapes
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Rooney, Ronnie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Magic Castle Readers: Math" series, this 32 page book give readers the opportunity to learn about basic shapes. The book opens with two pages about "work windows and "magic castles" which are books and a library. A girl, Eva, opens a word window and then our story begins. The story is about a group of apes who explore the shapes: circle, square, triangle, and rectangle. At the end of the story, they put the shapes together to make a rocket ship and blast off. Color illustrations are found throughout. The book has 5 comprehension questions on the final page. This book will be helpful when working with students who are learning basic shapes.
Malcolm X : Rights Activist And Nation Of Islam Leader
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Robinson, Tom
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Essential Lives" series, this 112 page biography, chronicles the live of activist Malcolm X. The book begins with a description of his 1964 "By Any Means Necessary" speech at the Audubon Ballroom in the Harlem section of New York City. Then the book goes back to the beginning of his life with his birth in Nebraska as Malcolm Little. The book follows his life and readers learn about his conversion to Islam, his name change, his efforts as a rights activist (including his differences with Dr. King), his founding of the Nation of Islam, and his assassination. The book also contains a chapter on the legacy he left. The book will well-written and contains many photographs. The book also has a table of contents, timeline, fact pages, bibliography (web resources are found on the publisher's website), source notes, index, and author information. A strong purchase if you are updating your biography section.
WIMBLEDON
SPORTSZONE [ABDO]
GITLIN, MARTY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 12, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Sports' Greatest Championships" series, this 64 page book looks at the international tennis competition held in Wimbledon, England. The book opens with seven pages on the 2008 men's singles championship, then goes through the history of the tournament until 2012. Readers will need to know the tennis scoring system to understand some of the descriptions. Photographs are found throughout. This book will only appeal to the most fervent tennis fan, which means it will most likely sit on the shelf. The book has a table of contents, timeline, glossary, bibliography (web resources provided through the publisher's site), index, and author information.
Big Fib
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Hamilton, Tim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 12, 2014
Garrard, Thom
When elderly Miss Finn sets some empty boxes outside, her young neighbor and his dog make a train, some race cars, a jet plane, and ultimately a mess. Miss Finn comes out and asks who is responsible. The boy initially blames the wind, but when he sees how slowly she moves as she starts picking up, he is moved to confess and cleans up the boxes. Afterwards, Miss Finn serves milk and cookies and suggests they pretend that she is the queen, they are her knights, and they are all friends. The boy says they really are friends, so they won’t be pretending. Like other books in Holiday House’s I Like to Read series, the simple text uses and repeats many single syllable words, making this perfect for beginning readers. Most pages contain one or two sentences printed in a large, clear font. The cartoonish artwork uses a muted palette and features characters with disproportionately large heads and oddly placed facial features. While some may enjoy these depictions, they are the main shortcoming in an otherwise touching story of imagination and cross-age friendship.
Mud Truck Racing : Tearing It Up
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Howell, Brian
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 12, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Dirt and Destruction: Sports Zone" series, this 32 page book will appeal to those who like to get a little muddy. The book explores the world of mud truck racing. Readers learn how this event started, various types of races, the trucks used in racing, and clubs that support these events. The text is well written and understandable to the casual reader. Color captioned photographs are found throughout the book. Sidebars add more information on related topics in each chapter. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, small bibliography (2 books, 2 websites), index, and author information. A good purchase for reluctant readers.
Dolphins
Scholastic Reference [Scholastic Reference]
Arlon, Penelope
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 12, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
A beginning book on dolphins. The book is a series of two page spreads. Each spread covers one bit of information about dolphins. Topics covered include: diving, mammals, senses, swimming, families, babies, sounds, food, and more. Orcas and river dolphins also have pages, The book also looks at the relationship between humans and dolphins. The spreads include color photographs. The layout of the pages will engage young readers. The pages are heavy paper, but I'm not sure how the binding will hold up to repeated use. There is an online bonus of dolphin rescue stories through the publisher website. The book has a table of contents, glossary, and index. 32 pages.
Etiquette, Equipment, And The Dojo
OLIVER PRESS [OLIVER PRESS]
Nakashima, Maiko
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 12, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This is the first book in the "Karate Made Simple" series. It's 32 pages focus on the equipment, etiquette, and classes. After an introduction page, readers are presented with the Table of Contents which can lead students to the topic they are interested in. Each topic is covered in two pages. The pages usually have a question and simple answer, then more in depth information. Color photographs and sidebars with more information are included. Topics in the book include: Rei and Seiza, belts, ranks, Gi, protective gear, and dojo. The book is complete with an index, glossary (with pronunciation), and list of websites. The book was created in conjunction with the Japanese Karate Federation. This will be a great addition to your martial arts collection, however, you will need to by the other three books in the set to have to complete information.
Karate Origins And Expansion
OLIVER PRESS [OLIVER PRESS]
Nakashima, Maiko
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 12, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This is the fourth book in the "Karate Made Simple" series. It's 32 pages focus on the origins, history, competitions, and famous practitioners. After an introduction page, readers are presented with the Table of Contents which can lead students to the topic they are interested in. Each topic is covered in two pages. The pages usually have a statement and a focus sentence, then more in depth information. Color photographs and sidebars with more information are included. Topics in the book include: karate in schools, spread of karate around the world, tournaments, and inclusion in future Olympics. The book is complete with a timeline, index, glossary (with pronunciation), and list of websites. The book was created in conjunction with the Japanese Karate Federation. This will be a great addition to your martial arts collection, however, you will need to by the other three books in the set to have to complete information.
Practice, Sparring, And Competition
OLIVER PRESS [OLIVER PRESS]
Nakashima, Maiko
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 12, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This is the third book in the "Karate Made Simple" series. It's 32 pages focus on the practice drills, sparring, and competitions. After an introduction page, readers are presented with the Table of Contents which can lead students to the topic they are interested in. Each topic is covered in two pages. The pages usually have a question and simple answer, then more in depth information. Color photographs and sidebars with more information are included. Topics in the book include: training, warming up, basic moves, sparring drills, and competition types. The book is complete with an index, glossary (with pronunciation), and list of websites. The book was created in conjunction with the Japanese Karate Federation. This will be a great addition to your martial arts collection, however, you will need to by the other three books in the set to have to complete information.
Punching, Kicking, And Blocking
OLIVER PRESS [OLIVER PRESS]
Nakashima, Maiko
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 12, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This is the second book in the "Karate Made Simple" series. It's 32 pages focus on the skills of punches, strikes, kicks, and blocks. After an introduction page, readers are presented with the Table of Contents which can lead students to the topic they are interested in. Each topic is covered in two pages. The pages usually have a question and simple answer, then more in depth information. Color photographs and sidebars with more information are included. Topics in the book include: stances, punches, practice forms (Kata), using hands and body as weapons. The book is complete with an index, glossary (with pronunciation), and list of websites. The book was created in conjunction with the Japanese Karate Federation. This will be a great addition to your martial arts collection, however, you will need to by the other three books in the set to have to complete information.
ART OF STONE SKIPPING AND OTHER FUN OLD-TIME GAMES : STOOPBA
Imagine Publishing [Imagine Publishing]
FERRER, J J
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 12, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Who doesn't like to play a game? This 185 page book has a ton of games that kids will love to play. The book is divided into seven sections of games: ball, brain, by myself, car, card, group, and partner. Each game has narrative directions, as well as, who, what is needed, and the object. There are also variations and/or tips for most all games. Fun fact sidebars are found throughout. Gray scale sketches help to illustrate some games (but they won't help much with instructions). The index has two parts: first alphabetical, then by the number of players. The book also has a table of contents and short introduction about the history of children's games. This book would also be a good resource for teachers looking for fun games to play with their classes. Reviewed copy was soft cover.
Dusk
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX [FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX]
Shulevitz, Uri
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 13, 2014
Canning, Tenny
Shulevitz had me at the cover illustration; an orange sun ready to set as the blue and lilac shadows advance! It is winter, as a boy, his grandfather and the dog watch as the sun lowers into the river, making a sweet and poignant moment. They return to the city where they lights of many kinds, light everywhere - making the night as bright as day. Shulevitz has a superlative sense of color value; the brightening or darkening sometimes so subtle it might not be noticed when turning the pages on the first read. These lights reflect the holiday season in full swing in that bright-as-day city night. In store windows and on the streets we see evidence of Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa. If this was a wordless book I would heartily recommend to everyone! The illustrations are rich and lovely. Unfortunately, that is not the case. As the trio enters the town they meet several townsfolk and an alien (?!) who each explain in verse why they are out and about on a winter night. Most of the rhymes just felt forced. The alien was a deal breaker for me.
Tug-Of-War
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Burningham, John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 13, 2014
Canning, Tenny
John Birningham created the illustrations in this book in 1968 to accompany the folktale, The Extrodinary Tug of War, retold by Letta Schatz. His illustrations are paired here with his own retelling of the tale. Hare, tired of being teased and bullied by Elephant and Hippopotamus, devises a plan to get back at them. He challenges each separately to a tug of war, but secretly pits them against each other. They each expect a short and easy contest with Hare and are surprised by his seeming strength and endurance. All is discovered in the end, but Hare makes good his escape into the forest. The illustrations, executed in somber tones with splashes of bright and then layered with sketchy lines and splatter of ink are highly energetic. Young students were put off by Burningham's choice of "teasing word." As I field test the book with kindergarten and 1st grade groups, I heard gasps in response to; idiot, stupid, wimp and twerp. It certainly started a conversation!
Taking Care Of Mama Rabbit
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Lobel, Anita
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 13, 2014
Garrard, Thom
In this brief picture book, Mama Rabbit is not feeling well and Papa Rabbit goes to get medicine. The ten little rabbits make their own cure, cheering her up with a new hanky, a cup of cocoa, a cuddly toy, an apple, a cookie, a flower, a ribbon, a necklace, a picture, and a good book. By time Papa returns, Mama is out of bed and much improved, and they sit down together to enjoy the show that their children put on for them. The charming artwork of acrylics and watercolors fits perfectly with the text. Young children will enjoy this book and perhaps find inspiration in the idea that the young rabbits are able to take care of their sick mother.
Minnie's Pet Salon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Scollon, Bill
Loter, Inc.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 13, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Bright digital cartoon illustrations of all your favorite characters accompany this Level 1 "World of Reading" Disney Junior book. Minnie Mouse opens a pet salon to prepare pets for Pluto's Pet Show. It soon becomes a very popular venue and she has more work than she can handle. Isn't it nice to have friends who can help? Ah, but which pet will win the contest? All of them, of course! This is a very simple story designed for early readers. The vivid illustrations and touches of humor will keep the intended audience happily engaged.
Olga The Cloud
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Costa, Nicoletta
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Originally published in 2003 in Italy, this quirky tale is now being released in English. Olga is a cloud and she likes it that way. She bobs around, seeing everything below. When she gets dirty she washes in the ocean. Olga has problems however. Where can she rest? Most things are too pointy or shaky, and the moon is not happy with a cloud hat. Worse, what about when Olga needs to go? She wants to rain, but finding the right spot is a problem. Luckily a booted bird shows her the way. The idea of a cloud wanting to rain being the equivalent of a child needing to use the bathroom is gently humorous and will set children giggling. The stylized illustrations are bright and have a kid-friendly quality. The story is rather silly and the ending is abrupt and will leave the reader wondering just where Olga finally rains. "Nimby" is a better choice as a cloud book. Still, there is a sweetness here that crosses the ocean well.
Minnie : The Case Of The Missing Sparkle-Izer
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Scollon, William
Loter, Inc.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
It's a special day at Minnie Mouse's Bow-tique. She has a new sparkle-izer that can add sparkles to just about anything. But wait, the sparkle-izer is missing. Where could it be? Minnie, Daisy, and Minnie's nieces are on the hunt. Following a trail of sparkle-ized objects they finally figure out what happened. Whew! Time to sparkle things up! This is an easy reader rebus book with sparkly bright illustrations showing favorite cartoon characters. It's sure to be a hit with beginning readers.
World's Best Noses, Ears, And Eyes
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Rundgren, Helen
Arrhenius, Ingela P.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Zoologist, Helen Rundgren, introduces young readers to animals who appear to be in competition. Who has the best nose? The best ears? The best eyes? Bright, digital illustrations by Ingela P. Arrhenius accompany arguments by various animals vying for the position of "best" in their category. Each briefly explains why their nose, or ears, or eyes beat out the other animals. The author also includes a little information on human noses, ears, and eyes, which are clearly not at all competitive. This is a humorous, visually appealing informational book focusing on animal senses. One quibble--I believe the author meant to reference the giant squid, rather than the common octopus, when referring to the biggest eyes in nature. Everyone knows that the giant squid wins out in this category, and the two are not synonymous. That flaw keeps me from giving this book my highest recommendation.
Thor : The Dark World : Heroes Of Asgard
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thomas, Rich, Jr
Lim, Ron, Carn Smith And Lee Duhig
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
In this Level 2 reader children are introduced to the famous (infamous?) Warriors Three of Asgard--Hogun the Grim, Fandral the Dashing, and Volstagg. Oh, and don't forget their warrior friend, Lady Sif. These are mighty heroes, but what do they do when they are overwhelmed by enemies? Luckily they have another friend--he comes with a hammer. This is basically an introduction, and it completely ignores the fun nuances of the characters. C'mon, where's Volstagg's famous comic relief? All the characters are drawn in burly, muscled stereotypical splendor. It makes me long for the original Stan Lee versions. Still, young fans will find this acceptable fare, and it would be a good introduction to characters they're seeing on TV and in movies.
Princess And The Presents
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hart, Caryl
Warburton, Sarah
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 14, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Cary Hart and Sarah Warburton regale the princess and frills loving readers with another tale packed with a moral. Shocking pink and purple colors are highlighted against a sunshine yellow cover announcing the subtitle: A funny tale for pampered princesses everywhere. The lesson is apparent from the beginning as the title page spread depicts Ruby, our curly-lock princess, scampering across gaily wrapped presents stacked as high as the city skyscrapers. The Royal house is in a tizzy preparing a birthday celebration for the disagreeable girl as she demands a giant tree house and parrot that talks, a pony, roller skates, jewels and so on. Rhyming couplets remind us of how horrid she is, yelling and bawling and stomping her feet. The denouement strikes when after opening only a few packages, the whole castle collapses under the weight of her presents. Ruby realizes that her papa, now buried under the debris, is present enough for her and all she really wants. The dynamic mixed media illustrations provide the forward momentum and are what will hold readers interest. While a checkout target for many readers, it is not a substantial contribution to the princess canon.
Great Moments In Olympic Gymnastics
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Lawrence, Blythe
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 14, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
ABDO’s “Great Moments in Olympic Sports” will attract young athletes with Olympic dreams, as well as students who enjoy learning the history and team rivalries leading up to each Olympic season. Lawrence gives a brief introduction to the Olympic sport of artistic gymnastics and dives into Montreal 1976 and Natalie Comaneci’s perfect 10s that wowed the world. Subsequent chapters highlight the Olympics with standout American success including 1984, 1992, 1996 and the “Magnificent Seven”, 2004, 2008, ending with London 2012 and “Gabby’s Golden Moment”. Each six page chapter opens with a bright yellow page of text, titles in bold red, and a full-page photograph of an important gymnast from the chapter. Gabby Douglas in her shining pink leotard leaps across the front cover, artistically poised with her legs in a split position, toes grazing both edges. The bright red, yellow and blue colors of the book carefully and consistently focus readers on the photographs and labels, text paragraphs and the blue sidebars with additional information about international stars and teams. Additional features include: Great Olympians list, glossary of gymnastics terms, additional resources, select bibliography, places to visit, and index.
German Shepherds
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Barnes, Nico
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 14, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
ABDO publishing company just released their ABDO Kids books, a new division for beginning readers. The 28 six-book nonfiction series include several animal series, military, transportation, Presidents, construction, and several Spanish pairings. The large, horizontally oriented books feature large photographs facing a page with two to three brief and simple descriptive sentences. German Shepherds are described as strong, smart dogs that need exercise and often work as police, military, film stars and rescue dogs. They were bred in Germany to guard and herd the sheep and are very easy to train. Three key facts and three Glossary words marked in the text by a different font and color, add a bit more information. An Abdo Kids code leads to Abdo created crafts, games, and videos but some of the links were inoperable when I checked. The series are similar to Capstone’s A+ series but a notch easier, providing nonfiction at an even easier reading level. The minimal information limits even beginning research but dog lovers will snap up these books and keep them circulating. Purchase if you need more early non-fiction dog books.
Jack Russell Terriers
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Barnes, Nico
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 14, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
See the review of German Shepherds by Nico Barnes for an overview of Abdo Kids and the Dog series. Jack Russell Terriers are small, strong dogs that are friendly with people but can be unfriendly to other dogs. Did you know that Jack Russell Terriers are only 12 inches tall but can jump 5 ft. high? Or that they were breed for chasing foxes out of their dens? Photographs are well matched to the text exemplified in the photograph of two terriers playing dug of war with a bone and one leaping over a jumping bar. Back material includes glossary words that are marked in the text by contrasting font, a facts page, index and an Abdo Kids code leading to Abdo created crafts, games, and videos. Unfortunately some of the links were inoperable when I checked. The Abdo Kids’ series are similar to Capstone’s A+ but a notch easier, providing nonfiction at an even easier reading level. The minimal information limits even beginning research but dog lovers will snap up these books and keep them circulating. Purchase if you need more early non-fiction dog books.
Labrador Retrievers
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Barnes, Nico
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 14, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
See the review of German Shepherds by Nico Barnes for an overview of Abdo Kids and the Dog series. Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular family dogs as they are friendly, loyal and playful. Photographs of chocolate, yellow and black labs are shown fetching balls, working as a guide dog and walking a ramp in an agility course. Text and photographs are well matched with the text on the left separated from the photograph by a contrastingly colored arc two/thirds of the way to the spine. Back material includes glossary words that are marked in the text by contrasting font, a facts page, index and an Abdo Kids code leading to Abdo created crafts, games, and videos. Unfortunately some of the links were inoperable when I checked. The Abdo Kids’ series are similar to Capstone’s A+ but a notch easier, providing nonfiction at an even easier reading level. The minimal information limits beginning research but dog lovers will snap up these books and keep them circulating. Purchase if you need more early non-fiction dog books.
Pugs
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Barnes, Nico
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 14, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
See the review of German Shepherds by Nico Barnes for an overview of Abdo Kids and the Dog series. Pugs are small dogs that sleep up to 14 hours a day and don’t need much exercise. No wonder they make great pets. The photographs are well chosen with examples of several different colors of pugs, pug puppies, and striking poses shot during all seasons. Readers will discover that pugs are one of the oldest dog breeds and were originally bred in China. Back material includes glossary words that are marked in the text by a different font and color, a facts page, index and an Abdo Kids code leading to Abdo created crafts, games, and videos. Unfortunately some of the links were inoperable when I checked. The Abdo Kids’ series are similar to Capstone’s A+ but a notch easier, providing nonfiction at an even easier reading level. The minimal information limits even beginning research but dog lovers will snap up these books and keep them circulating. Purchase if you need more early non-fiction dog books.
Hershel And The Hanukkah Goblins
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Kimmel, Eric A
Hyman, Trina Schart
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
During Hanukkah, Hershel of Ostropol stays in the haunted synagogue on the hill. There he must outwit goblins every night, for the only way to banish a curse is to light the Hanukkah candles. The final night, however, is particularly dangerous. Will Hershel survive? This is a beautifully-told story with exquisite illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman, that won a Caldecott Honor award. This special 25th anniversary edition has the Caldecott seal and a note by the author and publisher talking about the book, and the illustrator. This book is an amazing read-aloud. I used to read it every December to classes, finally losing my voice in the process as I did the voice of the King of the Goblins. (It needs to be raspy and huge and scary, right?) Children would sit in rapt attention, shivering as Hershel faced his final challenge. If you haven't read this you must. If it's not in your library it ought to be.
Moldylocks And The Three Beards
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Jones, Noah Z
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Princess Pink (yes, first name Princess, last name Pink) abhors pink...and princesses. Then, late one night, she steps through her refrigerator into the Land of Fake-Believe. Soon she is helping Moldylocks deal with the three Beards, after meeting Mother Moose. A ride on a tunacorn (horse with a fish on its head) can take her home again, but she decides Molylocks needs her help more. A clever disguise ensures all ends well. This is silliness at its silliest, with nonsensical plot, and bright funny illustrations. Young readers will doubtless find it hilarious.
Stripes Of All Types
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Stockdale, Susan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2014
Canning, Tenny
Stripes of All Types is a treat! It takes primary students on a lyrical field trip, where they see numerous animals in their natural habitats, all sporting or camouflaged by stripes of one kind or another. The text is short and the illustrations are striking. With only a phrases per page students are free to fully examine the powerful, simplified images. Fullu of color, contrast and telling details they hold the reader's attention. After the body of the text, there is a spread with thumbnail illustrations giving the name of the animal and a little additional information. Although this book is catalogued as an animal book, as far as I am concerned, it could as easily by shelved with books on design. Strong verbs used in the phrases are an added bonus, making the book useful as a writing model.
Fresas Son Rojas
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Horacek, Petr
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
September 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This 7 page, small-format board book contains cut-out pages each featuring a fruit and its color, splashed across the page. Strawberries are red. Oranges are orange. Grapes are purple, etc. In the end a cut-out shows all the fruit together in a colorful fruit salad. The Spanish-language text is simple and appropriate for the audience. The illustrations are big and colorful. This is a nice little board book that teaches both colors and the names of food. It would make a good baby gift.
Great White Sharks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Barnes, Nico
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
ABDO publishing company just released their ABDO Kids books, a new division for beginning readers. The 28 nonfiction series include several animal series, military, transportation, Presidents, construction, and several Spanish pairings. The large, horizontally oriented books feature large photographs facing a page with two to three brief and simple descriptive sentences. Back material includes glossary words marked in the text by contrasting font, a fact page, index and an Abdo Kids code leads to Abdo created crafts, games, and videos. The series are similar to Capstone’s A+ series but a notch easier, providing nonfiction at an even easier reading level. Barnes presents basic information about the shark’s physical description, acute senses, methods of hunting, favorite foods, and pups. Readers’ expecting photographs of the Great White’s enormous gaping jaws and bloody waters of a recent attack, will be disappointed. Most of the photographs match the text and the information about the physiology of the shark and only two show the jaws in preparation for the hunt. The minimal information limits beginning research but early readers will still snatch these off the shelves.
Zebra Sharks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Barnes, Nico
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
ABDO publishing company just released their ABDO Kids books, a new division for beginning readers. The large, horizontally oriented books feature large photographs facing a page with two to three brief and simple descriptive sentences. Back material includes glossary words marked in the text by contrasting font, a fact page, index and an Abdo Kids code leads to Abdo created crafts, games, and videos. The series are similar to Capstone’s A+ series but a notch easier, providing nonfiction at an even easier reading level. Barnes presents basic information about the shark’s physical description, acute senses, methods of hunting, favorite foods, and pups. Zebra sharks, sometimes known as Leopard Sharks, have stripes when born but those transform into spots by adulthood. Eating primarily fish, crabs, and snails, the Zebra sharks cruise in warm, shallow, coastal waters in the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The minimal information limits beginning research but early readers will still snatch these off the shelves.
Number One Sam
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Pizzoli, Greg
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Sam is a dog who loves to race his car against his friends' cars at the track. He always wins. He's #1, after all. But then, one day, his friend Maggie, an elephant, wins instead. Sam's bubble butsts. Will he ever win again? Suddenly winning becomes very important. However, in the next race something happens and he must make a choice between winning and doing the right thing. Fortunately he chooses correctly and discovers that winning is good, but not the most important thing. This is a gently understated book with simple and amusing bold illustrations and easy text. Young children often have a problem understanding how to temper their competitive nature. This book would be a good discussion-starter.
Know Your Numbers : Animals
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This series is a problem. The concept is good, if limited. Each book focuses on a topic. In this case it's animals. Then each page features a number going from 1 to 20, and a bright color photograph with that number of animals. The number is represented in 4 ways--as dots, the numeral, the word, and as its place on the number line. Two simple sentences caption the picture. Unfortunately it is the picture and the caption where the problems occur. Yes, the mother bear has 3 cubs, but there are 4 bears total in the picture, not three. Other pictures of animals make it hard to count them. Some are hiding behind others. Still, the pictures are attractive, and the book would be useful in reinforcing a basic counting concept. But do you really need a whole series of them?
Know Your Numbers : Food
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This series is a problem. The concept is good, if limited. Each book focuses on a topic. In this case it's food. Then each page features a number going from 1 to 20, and a bright color photograph of children from a variety of ethnic groups with that number of a food item. At the bottom of the page the number is represented in 4 ways--as dots, the numeral, the word, and as its place on the number line. Two simple sentences caption the picture. Unfortunately it is the picture and the caption where the problems occur. One piece of watermelon. Great. Two halves of an orange? Why not two oranges? You've introduced a new math concept--half--which actually equals 1 whole, but you're calling it two. Confusing. She ate three pieces of corn. OK, And there are three left on the grill. OK. But there's one in her hand, so there are actually 4 in the picture. And so it goes. The pictures and captions could have been extraordinarily clear and reinforced the concept. Instead, they can be misconstrued or are just plain wrong. No there aren't 17 peas in that pod. There are 10, and the photographer tossed 7 loose peas on the mat. Nice picture, inaccurate sentence. I find it hard to recommend the series, except as a concept reinforcer.
Star Wars : Rebels Early Reader 1
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The actual title of this book is "Zeb to the Rescue" and it is based on an episode of the animated series "Star Wars Rebels" entitled " Entanglement." Loosely based. Very loosely based. Basically it introduces the hard-fighting character of Zeb--an alien who tends to get in trouble more from desire than happenstance. When he helps an old man and a droid it incites some storm troopers. Much fighting follows, a little cleverness, and an explosion. The writing is very simple, which makes sense because this is a Level 1 reader. Illustrations are taken from the computer animation and are three-dimensional and interesting, though occasionally lacking in crispness. Is this an essential purchase? No. Will it fly off the shelf? You betcha!
Star Wars : Rebels Early Reader 2
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The actual title of this book is "Ezra and the Pilot" and it gets its inspiration from an episode of the animated series "Star Wars Rebels" entitled "Property of Ezra Bridger." Loosely based. It briefly introduces the character of 14-year-old Ezra of the planet Lothal. He's a rebel and when an Empire TIE fighter crash lands after a fight Ezra manages to steal a couple of useful items. The story is very very basic, which fits this being a Level 2 reader. Illustrations are taken from the computer animation and are three-dimensional and interesting, though occasionally lacking in crispness. Is this an essential purchase? No. Will it fly off the shelf? You betcha!
Percy Jackson's Greek Gods
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Riordan, Rick
Rocco, John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 15, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
I admire that Riordan did not just phone this one in and slap his and Percy’s name on a stock retelling. Percy’s voice is all over these lengthy introductions to all twelve of the Gods along with a bit more history of the creation of their world to start the book off. I loved the way Percy acknowledged the variety of accounts and explains why he picks the ones he shares. Really an indispensable addition to any library that collects Greek myths. Quite lavishly illustrated but more challenging and lengthy that Riordan’s novels.
Off Pointe
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Lieberman, Leanne
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 15, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
Meg has always gone to summer ballet, but her teacher is ill and the classes are cancelled. Mom and Dad have already planned a trip, so they send Meg off to a performing arts camp where she struggles to find anything of value with the other non-ballet dancers. There's both welcome and conflict from the contemporary dance kids and Meg learns a new dance vocabulary and a bit more tolerance. An Orca Limelights title.
Innocence Device
RAVEN BOOKS [RAVEN BOOKS]
Kowalski, William
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 15, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
In a scary future world, Chago is a prisoner in a world where mass incarceration is the norm. He lives in a huge city consisting totally of prisoners who live within the city walls. Life is endurable as long as he keeps his head down and avoids notice; his only hope in life is the possibility of seeing the son he had with one of the guards who has since been transferred away. Faced with a potential revolt, those in charge bring in an Innocence Device – those walking through who are truly innocent will be released but those who are guilty are immediately killed. A Rapid Reads title which means it is short, not too difficult, but has complex or more mature themes. Another excellent piece of work by the author of The Barrio Kings.
Bees
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
ABDO publishing company just released ABDO Kids books, a new division for beginning readers. The 28 nonfiction series contain several animal series including Insects, Dogs, Spiders, and Big Cats. The large, horizontally oriented books feature large photographs facing a page with two to three brief and simple descriptive sentences. Bees are one of the most common insects that young children learn to recognize although there is tremendous variation in the different species. The superb close-up photographs are labeled and identify the three main body parts, the bees’ five eyes, special mouthpart and stinger, and several views of hives. Back material includes a Fact page, Glossary with words that are identified in the text, and an Abdo Kids code leading to Abdo created crafts, games, and videos. Insects surround us and many are easily visible to or studied by our primary students making this a useful series for most libraries.
Beetles
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
ABDO publishing company just released ABDO Kids books, a new division for beginning readers. The 28 nonfiction series contain several animal series including Insects, Dogs, Spiders, and Big Cats. The large, horizontally oriented books feature large photographs facing a page with two to three brief and simple descriptive sentences. The close up photographs of beetles allow readers to see the distinctive three body parts, variations in coloring, antennae shape and body shape. Information about different types of food beetles eat and jobs such as breaking down dead plants and moving pollen provides good examples of how the smallest insects are vitally important. Facts included in the back material will amaze readers as they learn that scientists estimate there could actually be between 4 million and 8 million beetle species. Glossary words are identified in the text by a different font and color, add a bit more information. An Abdo Kids code leads to Abdo created crafts, games, and videos but some of the links were inoperable when I checked. Insects surround us and many are easily visible to or studied by our primary students making this a useful series for most libraries.
Sparky!
SCHWARTZ & WADE [SCHWARTZ & WADE]
Offill, Jenny
Appelhans, Chris
Marginal -- Contains so many weaknesses that it might be considered for purchase only as supplementary material in its field or to meet special localized subject needs.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 15, 2014
Garrard, Thom
After her daughter begs for a pet, a mother agrees -on the condition that it doesn’t need to be walked, fed, or bathed. With the help of her school librarian, the girl decides that a sloth meets the criteria. When “Sparky” arrives in the mail, he goes right to sleep. When he wakes, she tries to play with him, but he is best at sitting still. Her classmate comes to see but is unimpressed by the sloth’s sleeping. The girl defends Sparky, promising a show of tricks she will teach him. After a week of practice, Sparky succeeds at playing dead but not at rolling over or speaking. When the small audience departs, Sparky returns to the tree, where he will be “it” for a long time. The charm of this book lies in the watercolor and pencil illustrations, especially those with Sparky happily asleep on a tree branch, but they cannot make up for the faulty plot and characters in this story. Sloths should not, of course, be made into pets, and the librarian should know better. The girl should not have promised tricks, because she is well acquainted with Sparky’s behavior by that point. After practicing, it is even more obvious, but instead of admitting her mistake, she goes ahead with the show, trying to make Sparky into something he is not.
Whale Sharks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Barnes, Nico
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 16, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
ABDO publishing company just released their ABDO Kids books, a new division for beginning readers. The large, horizontally oriented books feature large photographs facing a page with two to three brief and simple descriptive sentences. Back material includes glossary words marked in the text by contrasting font, a fact page, index and an Abdo Kids code leads to Abdo created crafts, games, and videos. The series are similar to Capstone’s A+ series but a notch easier, providing nonfiction at an entry reading level. In Whale Sharks, Barnes describes the sharks’ physical characteristics including gills, cartilage, coloring, and size and feeding methods. The photographs are uninspiring and fail to demonstrate how large the shark is compared to others and the magnified photograph of krill is deceptive as the Whale Sharks large size may lead to the belief that krill are very large also. Younger readers’ need easy-to-read non-fiction and these Abdo Kids books will be constantly checked out.
Taiwan
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Somervill, Barbara A
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 17, 2014
Dame, Anne
Many gorgeous photographs make this a very inviting book. I always worry about how quickly this will go out of date, however. There are lots of facts and figures that will change over time, some more rapidly than others. I was totally fascinated by the text as well and would love to visit Taiwan someday. If you have lots of financial resources for this type of broad overview, I recommend it, otherwise you can likely find current information and pictures online as well.
Leones
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Archer, Claire
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Grandes Felinos" ("Big Cats") series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative Spanish-language text. This volume in the series focuses on lions. Readers learn where they live, facts about their appearance, and brief information about family life, diet, and life cycle. A page of four additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. The link, however, provides access only to English language materials. Designed for beginning readers, there's not a lot of information here. Still, the book is attractive, and good easy nonfiction is always welcome.
Cheetahs
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Archer, Claire
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Big Cats" series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on the fastest land animals--cheetahs. Readers learn where they live, and lots of interesting facts about their anatomy and diet. There's even a page about baby cheetahs. Four additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, there's not a ton of information here. Still, it's solid and interesting, and good easy nonfiction is always in demand.
Manx Cats
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Dash, Meredith
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Cats series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on those tailless or tailpoor Manx cats. Readers learn what they look like, something about their personalities and preferences, the nicknames for the cats based on their tails, and a little about how they fit into family situations. A page of three additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found at the end. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, there's not a lot of information here. Still, the book is attractive and the subject is always popular.
Trapdoor Spiders
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Archer, Claire
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Spiders" series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on trapdoor spiders. Readers learn where they live, facts about their appearance and anatomy, their homes, diet, and how they hunt. Three additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, the information provided is very basic. Still, the book is attractive and the big big BIG photographs reveal fascinating details. This will find a ready readership.
Jumping Spiders
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Archer, Claire
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Spiders" series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on jumping spiders. Readers learn where they live, facts about how their appearance varies, where they got their name, and how they hunt and capture their prey. There's also a page of information on spiderlings. Three additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, the information provided is very basic. Still, the book is attractive and the huge photographs reveal fascinating details. This will find a ready readership.
Basking Sharks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Barnes, Nico
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Sharks" series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on the huge, slow-moving basking sharks. Readers learn where they live, facts about their appearance and anatomy, their diet, and a little information about baby sharks. Three additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, the information provided is very basic. Still, the book is attractive and the subject matter is always popular.
Hammerhead Sharks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Barnes, Nico
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Sharks" series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on the hammerhead shark. Readers learn where they live, facts about their appearance and anatomy, their diet, how they hunt, and a little information about baby sharks. Three additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, the information provided is very basic. Still, the book is attractive and the subject matter is always popular.
Chameleons
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Reptiles" series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on that colorful favorite, the chameleon. Readers learn where they live, what they look like, and how varied the species is. Interesting facts about different body parts are included. The book also provides information on diet, and on baby chameleons. A page of three additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, there's not a lot of information here. Still, what there is is clear and interesting, and good easy nonfiction is in high demand.
Siamese Cats
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Dash, Meredith
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Cats series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on Siamese cats. Readers learn what they look like, something about their personalities, and a little about how they fit into family situations. A page of three additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, there's not a lot of information here. Still, the book is attractive and the subject is always popular.
Persian Cats
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Dash, Meredith
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Cats series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on squashy-faced Persian cats. Readers learn what they look like and the care they require, something about their personalities, and a little about how they fit into family situations. A page of three additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, there's not a lot of information here. Still, the book is attractive and the subject is always popular.
Maine Coon Cats
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Dash, Meredith
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Cats series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on Maine Coon Cats, the official state cat of Maine. Readers learn what they look like, something about their personalities and preferences, and a little about how they fit into family situations. A page of three additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, there's not a lot of information here. Still, the book is attractive and the subject is always popular.
Mako Sharks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Barnes, Nico
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Sharks" series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs that run over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on the sinister-looking Mako shark. Readers learn where they live, facts about their appearance and anatomy, their diet, how they hunt, and a little information about baby sharks. Three additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, the information provided is very basic. Still, the book is attractive and the subject matter is always popular.
Stegosaurus
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Lennie, Charles
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Dinosaurs" series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs taken from a variety of sources and showing possible dinosaur exteriors, as well as skeletons, that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on that plated and spiked favorite, the stegosaurus. Readers learn when and where they lived, their probable size and appearance, as well as their diet, and defenses. A page of four additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, there's not a lot of information here. Still, the book is attractive and the subject is beyond popular.
Triceratops
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Lennie, Charles
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Dinosaurs" series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs taken from several sources and showing possible dinosaur exteriors, as well as skeletons, that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on that three-horned wonder, the triceratops. Readers learn when and where they lived, their probable size and appearance, as well as their diet, and defenses. A page of four additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, there's not a lot of information here. Still, the book is attractive and the subject is beyond popular.
Apatosaurus
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Lennie, Charles
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Dinosaurs" series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs taken from a variety of sources and showing possible dinosaur exteriors, as well as skeletons, that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on that large and lovable herbivore, the apatosaurus. Readers learn when and where they lived, their probable size and appearance, and their diet. A picture of a man standing next to an apatosaurus skeleton provides a nice feel for the size of the dinosaur. A page of four additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, there's not a lot of information here. Still, the book is attractive and the subject is beyond popular.
Velociraptor
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Lennie, Charles
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Dinosaurs" series, this large format 24-page book features sharp, close-up photographs taken from a variety of sources and showing possible dinosaur exteriors, as well as skeletons, that spill over the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This volume in the series focuses on those sneaky predators--velociraptors. Readers learn when and where they lived, their probable size and appearance, as well as their diet, and probable prey. A page of four additional facts, as well as a glossary and index, are found on the final pages. There is also a website with a special code that will lead readers to activities, a video, and additional websites on the subject. Designed for beginning readers, there's only very basic information here. Still, the book is attractive and the subject is beyond popular.
Pet For Fly Guy
ORCHARD BOOKS [ORCHARD BOOKS]
Arnold, Tedd
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Wait a minute--is this Fly Guy in a large picture book format? (At twice the price of the small Scholastic hardbacks?) Yes indeed. Fly Guy decides he needs a pet. Buzz explains what you should look for in a pet and they try out a few, but they don't work out. What is the best pet for Fly Guy? Well, by Buzz's own definition, Buzz is. This is another fun easy-reader with Tedd Arnold's trademark bug-eyed, bright illustrations, only in a much larger format. It's sure to be a hit, but buy it prebound to be sure it will last.
Dinosaur Vs. School
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Shea, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
"Dinosaur vs. Santa" was inspired fun, but Dinosaur has been back facing the library, the potty, and bedtime and the concept is getting rather stretched. In this book Dinosaur faces school. There he meets new friends, dresses up, does art, eats snacks and generally has a fine time, naturally winning at every competition. (But is it really a competition when you have Dinosaur vs. meeting new friends?) In the final page everyone wins, not just Dinosaur, when it comes to cleaning up together. The sweet ending belies the rambunctious nature of of stomping, roaring Dinosaur who aptly mirrors many of the preschoolers who tromp through my library. The childlike appeal of the artwork, and the chance for vocal histrionics in reading this book aloud, mean it will be a fun storytime choice for the very young.
Alone Together
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Bloom, Suzanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Soft pastel illustrations against a deep blue background, as well as simple and gently sweet text, make this another fun entry in the Goose and Bear series. The polar bear wants some alone time. He NEEDS some alone time. Goose understands. Fox? Not so much. He decides to share Bear's alone time and fill it with humming, twirling, and whooshing. Fox finally settles down, but now Goose is lonely. Can all three of them be alone together? The text consists of very simple dialogue, while the whimsical illustrations show a wide range of emotion. This is another winner for beginning readers.
Mighty Dads
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Holub, Joan
Dean, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
James Dean, of the "Pete the Cat" series, has branched out in this homage to fatherhood. Big daddy trucks, loaders, bulldozers, and more are followed by little versions of themselves who look up to their fathers, and imitate their work in small ways. Simple rhyming text, with plenty of repetition, accompanies the big bold illustrations by Joan Holub, that show big and little machines with eyes. Little boys will love the big machines, but this can't compete with Pete the Cat because it lacks a central character with attitude. That probably won't matter, however. It will still be popular among the intended audience.
Story Of Wolverine
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Macri, Thomas
Semeiks, Val And Hi-Fi Design
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This Level 2 reader introduces beginning readers to the backstory of Wolverine. This is not the story they may have gotten from the movies. A bucolic childhood ended when, under stress, claws popped out of a boy's hands. He ran away, assumed a new identity, Logan, and became somewhat of a loner. Kidnapped, his claws were replaced with metal. Escaping, he became a part of a superhero team called Alpha Flight, and later joined the X-Men. Despite the subject matter, the writing is rather static and dry. It won't matter. This book, with its vivid digital superhero illustrations and catchy cover, will have no problem finding readers.
These Are The Avengers
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Macri, Thomas
Norton, Mike And Hi-Fi Design
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This Level 1 reader introduces beginning readers to that band of superheroes known as the Avengers. Each of the six is briefly introduced: Captain America, Ant-Man, Wasp, the Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man. Readers learn a little about each of their powers, and their strength as a team. Simple text is accompanied by bright, bold, digital high action illustrations that stand out against a white background. Young boys, especially, are going to be drawn to this series both for its appearance and its subject matter. Lucky the binding is sturdy!
This Is Iron Man
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Macri, Thomas
Rousseau, Craig And Hi-Fi Design
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This Level 1 reader introduces beginning readers to the ever popular Iron Man. Readers learn about Tony Stark, his friends, and his secret identity. Some of the powers he has, while in his suit, are described. The simple text is accompanied by eye-catching bright digital illustrations that pop against a white background. This is the sort of superhero stuff young boys are yearning for, with lots of visual appeal and short sentences. The binding is sturdy, with good stitching, which is fortunate. This isn't high class literature, but it will not be a shelf-sitter.
This Is Spider-Man
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Macri, Thomas
Nauck, Todd And Hi-Fi Design
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This Level 1 reader introduces beginning readers to Spider-Man. Readers learn a little about his family life, and how he doesn't always fit in at school. Spidey's abilities are briefly described. What would the bullies do if they knew his secret? The text is very simple, with short sentences. But combine those with the bright digital illustrations against a stark white background and you have something that early readers, especially boys, will snatch up. Binding is sturdy, with good stitching, which is fortunate. This isn't high class literature, but it will not be a shelf-sitter.
Avengers : The Kree-Skrull War
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Macri, Thomas
Bachs, Ramon And Hi-Fi Design
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
In this sturdy Level 3 short chapter reader, both mainstream and lesser-known Avengers face serious problem. Bad publicity has the public fired up against them, and the team has been broken up. Or has it? It's all an evil alien plot! Aliens called the Skrulls have been infiltrating human society, using their shape-changing abilities. The Avengers get involved in a war between the Kree and the Skrull to rescue captured teammates and, naturally, save the planet. Victorious, they are welcomed back and evil-doers get their come-uppance. Bright digital superhero illustrations pop off of shiny white pages. This isn't great literature but does it matter? It's the perfect draw for those reluctant readers, and is sure to be popular.
This Is Wolverine
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Macri, Thomas
Barberi, Carlo And Hi-Fi Design
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This Level 1 reader introduces beginning readers to the character of Wolverine. It tells of his role in the X-Men, some of his abilities, and his regular identity of Logan. Frankly, the text is very simple, with short sentences. But combine those with the ultra-muscled bright illustrations against a stark white background and you have something that early readers, especially boys, will want to read and read again. Binding is sturdy, with good stitching, which is fortunate. This isn't high class literature, but it will not be a shelf-sitter.
Story Of Spider-Man
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Macri, Thomas
The Storybook Art Group
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This Level 2 reader introduces beginning readers to the back-story of Spider-Man. Young readers meet Peter Parker and learn about his family and school life. A radioactive spider changed everything for him, of course. Now a costumed hero with superpowers he made a bad decision leading to the death of his uncle. Now he uses his powers to make the world better. This is a very simple retelling of the legend. It's not particularly enthralling, but the subject matter, as well as the bright digital illustrations, will be enough to guarantee a rabid readership, especially from young boys.
Know Your Numbers : School
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Know Your Numbers" series is based on a good concept. Each book focuses on a topic--in this case, school. Then each page features a number going from 1 to 20, and a crisp color photograph with that number of items found at school such as three boys going to history class, four school books, etc. The number is represented in 4 ways--as dots, the numeral, the word, and as its place on the number line. Two simple sentences caption the picture. The pictures are carefully crafted to show children of many ethnicities. It has also been carefully washed of details--no titles on books or words on shirts. The book is beautifully designed, well-bound, and includes a glossary. It reinforces a valuable concept. Still, do you really need a whole series of them?
Story Of The Avengers
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Macri, Thomas
Norton, Mike Et Al
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This Level 2 reader introduces beginning readers to the origins of the Avengers. Separate heroes--Hulk, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Wasp, and Thor combined to fight Loki. This led to the formation of their team. (This is not at all related to the movie.) When they rescued a man frozen in ice Captain America joined their team. Despite the subject matter this is not a very exciting book. Still, the bright digital superhero illustrations pop off the white pages, and young boys will glom onto it with glee.
Story Of Iron Man
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Macri, Thomas
Rousseau, Craig And Hi-Fi Design
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This Level 2 reader introduces beginning readers to the back-story of Iron Man. (Which may surprise them since it doesn't really match up with the movie.) Young readers meet Tony Stark and learn about his time in prison where he met the inventor who saved his life. Together they built his first suit of armor. which helped him escape and later enabled him to become a crime fighter. Refining the suit enhanced both his appearance and abilities. Now he uses those abilities to help others. This is a very simple retelling of the legend, with none of the snark, darn. It's not particularly enthralling, but the subject matter, as well as the bright digital illustrations, will be enough to guarantee a rabid readership, especially from young boys.
Know Your Numbers : Toys
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Know Your Numbers" series is based on a good concept. Each book focuses on a topic--in this case, toys. Then each page features a number going from 1 to 20, and a crisp color photograph with that number of toys such as three balls, four dollhouse chairs, etc. The number is represented in 4 ways--as dots, the numeral, the word, and as its place on the number line. Two simple sentences caption the pictures. The book is nicely designed, well-bound, and includes a glossary. It reinforces a valuable concept. Still, do you really need a whole series of them?
Know Your Numbers : Nature
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Know Your Numbers" series is based on a good concept. Each book focuses on a topic. In this case it's nature. Then each page features a number going from 1 to 20, and a crisp color photograph with that number of items found in nature, such as one caterpillar, two mushrooms, etc. The number is represented in 4 ways--as dots, the numeral, the word, and as its place on the number line. Two simple sentences caption the picture. The book is beautifully designed, well-bound, and includes a glossary. It reinforces a valuable concept. Still, do you really need a whole series of them?
Scooby-Doo : A Haunted Halloween
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Howard, Lee
Alcadia Snc.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is issue #1 in the "A Scooby-Doo Comic Storybook" series, based on a cartoon episode. Halloween is here and Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, Velma and Scooby-Doo are off to visit Velma's aunt in Banning Junction. The town, however, is under a curse. Weird things are happening. Scarecrows are coming to life. Has the curse-giver returned after 100 years to take his revenge? Our intrepid heroes are on the case. Of course they'll figure out what's really going on, and who's behind it, and why. That's what they Scooby-dooby-do! Bright cartoon illustrations create a graphic novel feel for the book. The story, however, is rather bland and episodic, failing to create the tension you'd expect in a scary book. Young readers will probably enjoy it, but older ones may be disappointed.
Camp Fear
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Howard, Lee
Alcadia Snc.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is issue 3 in the "A Scooby-Doo Comic Storybook" series, based on a cartoon episode. Shaggy and Scooby are at summer camp but are, unfortunately, assigned to Cabin 13. This results in multiple visits by a green slime monster. A lot of running follows. Finally, with the help of young campers, they trap the beast, or do they? OK, now there are two of them, but the problem is solved and everyone is happy. In fact, they use the legend to solve another problem at camp. Bright cartoon illustrations create a graphic novel look. Is this an essential purchase? Of course not, but it won't be a shelf-sitter.
Merry Scary Holiday
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Howard, Lee
Alcadia Snc.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is issue 2 in the "A Scooby-Doo Comic Storybook" series, based on a cartoon episode. Christmas is coming and Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, Velma and Scooby-Doo are off to visit Daphne's uncle in Mills Corner. The town, however, is having problems with a creepy, mayhem-wreaking snowman. Why is he here? What does he want? How can they make him go away? The occupants of the Mystery Machine are on the case. Bright cartoon illustrations create a graphic novel feel for the book. The writing, however, is just so-so. It's rather bland and episodic, failing to create any significant tension. This happens, then that happens, then something else happens. Still, the subject matter is sure to draw in young readers who may not be so picky.
Avengers : Bringers Of The Storm
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Parker, Jeff
Cafu
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
I confess, I LOVE these Marvel books that take the beautifully-crafted comics and put them in hard covers for a new generation to enjoy. This is Avengers #15, and was originally published in 2007. Unlike some watered-down versions created for kids, this has the whole range of comic delight--snarky asides, super-hero quibbling, plenty of action, and a complete suspension of disbelief. Naturally this is accompanied by amazing artwork and delightful story lines. In this case Captain America, Storm, Spider-Man, Hulk, Giant-Girl, Iron Man, and Wolverine are led by two ravens to Asgard. But where are the Asgardians? The place has been taken over by Dark Elves who bring in Ice Giants to fight our heroes. Spider-Man's wits, and Storm's special abilities help turn the tide and bring back Thor and company. There's tons of fighting and lots of reparte. This is good stuff. Get your geek on!
Avengers : Even A Hawkeye Can Cry
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Parker, Jeff
Park, Leonard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
First of all, a confession. I LOVE these Marvel books that take the beautifully-crafted comics and put them in hard covers for a new generation to enjoy. This is Avengers #16, and was originally published in 2007. Unlike some watered-down versions created for kids, this has the whole range of comic delight--snarky asides, super-hero quibbling, plenty of action with appropriate thbaaaaams and hrronnghs and, of course, amazing artwork and delightful story lines. In this case Hawkeye appears and wants to join the team. But is he sincere, or is he an enemy plant? Captain America, Spider-Man, Giant-Girl, Iron Man, and Wolverine have to make the call. Oh, and they have to do it while fighting an evil genius who has aspirations, but not the chops, to become a super villain. Fun? You betcha? Guess who wins! Sure there's no educational value here, but who cares? This is comic book mayhem at its best.
Avengers : Attack Of The 50 Foot Girl!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Parker, Jeff
Kirk, Leonard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
First of all, a confession. I'm a geek. I LOVE these Marvel books that take beautifully-crafted comics and put them in hard covers for a new generation to enjoy. This is Avengers #13, published in 2007. Unlike some watered-down versions created for kids, this has the whole range of comic delight--snarky asides, super-hero quibbling, plenty of action with appropriate sound effects and, of course, amazing artwork and delightful story lines. In this case Insectoid creatures from beneath the earth are treaying to take over the surface. Their favorite snack food? Humans, of course! What's worse, Giant Girl has run amok. Storm, Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, and Wolverine have to battle both the invaders and their teammate. Battles, backstory, and biffs and boffs abound. Is this a necessary purchase? Maybe not, but I guarantee it will circulate. (And c'mon...you know you want to buy it!)
Avengers : The Avenging Seven
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Parker, Jeff
Kirk, Leonard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
September 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
I love good comics. (I still have my collection from when I was a kid.) That's why I'm so fond of how they are putting beautifully-crafted comics and putting them in hard covers for a new generation to enjoy. This is Avengers #14, and was originally published in 2007. Unlike some watered-down versions created for kids, this has the whole range of comic delight--snarky asides, super-hero quibbling, plenty of action and, of course, amazing artwork and delightful story lines. In this case a girl uses a magic stone to transport herself from a pocket universe to ask for the Avengers' help. An evil warlord annually terrorizes her village, taking all they have. Captain America, Storm, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Giant-Girl, Wolverine, and Hulk answer the call. Considering the enemy, Cap puts the leadership in Wolverine's hands and mayhem ensues as two "take no prisoner" leaders face off. Action scenes abound. Right triumphs. Heroes get off good one-liners. Educational? Nope. Fun? You betcha!
Call Me Isis : Egyptian Goddess Of Magic
Goosebottom Books Llc [Goosebottom Books Llc]
Maurer, Gretchen
Bridges, Shirin Yim
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 20, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
A Treasury of Glorious Goddesses series includes the Egyptian goddess Isis, known for her magic, healing, and protection of her brother/husband Osiris and their son, Horus. In this story, inspired by ancient myths, the reader follows likable Isis as she and her brother turned husband are crowned the new Goddess-Queen and God-King. Their great grandfather Atum-Ra, the Creator/Sun God is the ruler overall, but unfortunately is blind to the jealousy, meanness and evil of their brother Seth, who murders Osiris, not once but twice. Isis loses her magic for awhile following this devastation, but raises her son to be a good, honorable young man, who eventually can compete with his uncle Seth, the new God-King, as the rightful heir. Osiris, changed since his body was cut into 14 pieces and strewn in a river, is resurrected by Isis to become lord of the Underworld, a quite gruesome place. The plot keeps a reader moving though the modern language is a bit jarring in this context intended to bring in contemporary 9-13-year-olds. The last 25 pages include factual information and photos on Egyptian mythology, culture and delineation of the myths, facts and fiction plus glossary and bibliography.
Leroy Ninker Saddles Up
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Dicamillo, Kate
Van Dusen, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 21, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Fans of Mercy Watson will welcome some familiar characters in the new series Tales from Deckawoo Drive. Chris Van Dusen's illustrations clearly capture Kate DiCamillo's characters especially the protagonist Leroy Ninker. This small man yearns to be a cowboy, but despite wearing all the garb--cowboy hat, boots and lasso, his co-worker at the drive-in theater points out he's missing a key ingredient--a horse! She encourages him to "take fate in your hands and wrestle it to the ground" and follow up on a cheap horse for sale. The cheap horse is actually free to an owner who will love her and treat her right in remaining years. There are obstacles to overcome such as where to have Madeline sleep since she can't fit through the door of his small apartment; will she eat spaghetti since he doesn't have oats or hay; and what happens when she's left alone during a thunder storm? Ultimately Madeline proves to be the perfect horse for Leroy, who can meet all of her requirements, especially talk to her sweetly and compliment her often. As usual, DiCamillo doesn't disappoint in her storytelling, endearing characters, and magic with language.
Monkey Me And The New Neighbor
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Roland, Timothy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 21, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
For kids who think they're ready for Captain Underpants, this may be a more appropriate starting point for transitional chapter books with graphic comics combined. Monkey Me is a series in Scholastic's Branches books with a second grade reading level and content that appeals to Gr. 1-3. Number three describes more antics as primary student Clyde becomes excitable to the point of losing control, sneezing and then turning into a monkey. As a monkey the text moves from paragraph form to comic style to follow what Clyde is doing. Only his twin sister Claudia knows about this weirdness and tries to cover for him until he returns to his boy state. In this episode Clyde gets over excited when he again forgets to bring something for show and tell, so he tries to turn into a monkey. When he does the monkey becomes the target for Principal Murphy, who ironically is their new neighbor. Ultimately Clyde learns she's really quite nice, collects baseball cards like he does, and is beholding to him when he as Monkey Me rescues her stolen cards from the burglar and catnapper. Totally outlandish, this should appeal to the primary students ready for beginning chapter books.
American Curl Cats
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Finne, Stephanie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 21, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Checkerboard Animal Library Cats" series, this sturdily-bound 24-page book introduces young readers to American curl cats. Readers learn of the cats' origin as a new breed in 1981. Crisp, informative text gives insights into the personality of American curl cats, and their size and appearance. Caring for the cats, including grooming and feeding, is also covered. The book includes solid information about kittens, the best way to select a cat through a reputable breeder, and the supplies you should have when you bring the cat home. Big, well-focused photographs show a variety of American curl cats, and the book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Like most Checkerboard books, this is excellent, well-written nonfiction on a subject that children adore. It would be an asset to library collections.
Russian Blue Cats
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Finne, Stephanie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 21, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Checkerboard Animal Library Cats" series, this sturdily-bound 24-page book introduces young readers to the unusually colored Russian blue cats. Readers learn of the cats' probable natural origin in Russia's Archangel Isles, as well as the selective breeding that has taken place to refine its appearance. Crisp, informative text gives insights into the cautious personality of Russian blues, and their size and appearance. Caring for the cats, including grooming and feeding, is also covered. The book includes solid information about kittens, the best way to select a cat through a reputable breeder, and the supplies you should have when you bring the cat home. Readers are encouraged to meet the cat several times before acquiring it, to check for allergic reaction--a wise piece of advice. Big, well-focused photographs show a variety of Russian blues, and the book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Like most Checkerboard books, this is excellent, well-written nonfiction on a subject that children love. It would be a nice addition to library collections.
Devon Rex Cats
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Finne, Stephanie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 21, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Checkerboard Animal Library Cats" series, this sturdily-bound 24-page book introduces young readers to Devon rex cats, not to be confused with Cornish rex cats. Readers learn of the cats' recognition as a new breed in 1967. Crisp, informative text gives insights into the gregarious personality of Devon rex cats, and their size and appearance. Caring for the cats, including grooming and feeding, is also covered. The book includes good information about kittens and life span, the best way to select a cat through a reputable breeder, and the supplies you should have when you bring the cat home. It includes advice about meeting the cat for several times first, to check for allergic reaction. Big, well-focused photographs show a variety of Devon rex cats, and the book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Like most Checkerboard books, this is excellent, well-written nonfiction on a popular subject. It merits a place in your library.
Exotic Shorthair Cats
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Finne, Stephanie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 21, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Checkerboard Animal Library Cats" series, this sturdy 24-page book introduces young readers to exotic shorthair cats. These are Persian cats with shorter fur that were originally bred in the 1950's. Called by a variety of names, they now fall under this all-encompassing title, but that may change if a better name appears. Crisp, informative text gives insights into the personality of these varied cats, and their size and appearance. Caring for the cats, including grooming and feeding, is also covered. The book includes goodinformation about kittens, the best way to select a cat through a reputable breeder (including checking for an allergic reaction), and the supplies you should have when you bring the cat home. Big, well-focused photographs show a variety of exotic shorthair cats, and the book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Like most Checkerboard books, this is excellent, well-written nonfiction on a popular subject that fits nicely into library collections.
Balinese Cats
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Finne, Stephanie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 21, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Checkerboard Animal Library Cats" series, this sturdy 24-page book introduces young readers to Balinese cats which are longhaired Siamese cats first bred in the 1950's. Readers learn of the cats' origin and original designation, depending on colors, as Balinese and Javanese. The two have now been combined into one category. Crisp, informative text gives insights into the inquisitive personality of these cats, and their size and appearance. Caring for the cats, including grooming and feeding, is also covered. The book includes solid information about kittens, life span, the best way to select a cat through a reputable breeder, and the supplies you should have when you bring the cat home. Big, well-focused photographs show a variety of Balinese cats, and the book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Like most Checkerboard books, this is excellent, well-written nonfiction on a popular subject. It would be an asset to library collections.
Cool Filled Cupcakes : Fun & Easy Baking Recipes For Kids!
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 21, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This sturdy 32-page addition to the "Cool cupcakes & Muffins" series focuses on filled cupcakes. Young cooks are given an introduction and basic rules about equipment, materials, and safety. Cooking terms, as well as recipe symbols, are defined. A two-page spread gives solid information on frosting your cupcakes. Seven recipes follow. Some involve cutting cupcakes to frost the middle for the filling. Others ask readers to cut a hole in baked cupcakes and fill it with fruit or filling before frosting, or adding ice cream. The clever "Hidden Heart" cupcake involves prebaking and inserting a cake "heart" into a new cupcake's batter, which is rather tricky. Most of the recipes use cake mixes, but require some skill in other areas. The one asking for lemon curd does not include a recipe for lemon curd, or a definition of what it is. (It's not something most folks have around the house.) Truthfully, some of these recipes will be a bit of a challenge, but with an adult's help they could be a lot of delicious fun. Recipe books are always in demand, and so are cupcakes. With a tasty-looking cover, and a sturdy binding, that would make this book a popular choice.
Oriental Shorthair Cats
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Finne, Stephanie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 21, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Checkerboard Animal Library Cats" series, this sturdily-bound 24-page book introduces young readers to Oriental shorthair cats. Readers learn of the cats' origin as a new breed in the 1950's through selective breeding. Crisp, informative text gives insights into the attention-demanding personality of these cats, and their size and appearance. Caring for the cats, including grooming and feeding, is also covered. The book includes goodinformation about kittens, the best way to select a cat through a reputable breeder, and the supplies you should have when you bring the cat home. Emphasis is given to the cat's need for attention and companionship. Big, well-focused photographs show a variety of Oriental shorthair cats, and the book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Like most Checkerboard books, this is excellent, well-written nonfiction on an interesting subject. It would be an asset to library collections.
Trouble With Magic
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Chew, Ruth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 21, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Originally written and illustrated by Ruth Chew in 1976, this book has been reissued with new cover art as a Stepping Stone transitional chapter book in the Matter-of-Fact Magic series. Sister and brother Barbara and Rick think they're buying a cheap rusted bottle of room deodorizer to mask the smell of their babysitter's cabbage cooking. Instead they discover a friendly wizard, who's been trapped in the bottle, and is happy to help them. His magic only works with his umbrella when it's raining, and they discover that's it's hard to get what they really want just right. When Barbara says she likes the smell of roses, her room is then taken over by real roses, and Rick likes how pine woods smell with the result his room becomes a forest. Managing these situations in between rain showers proves problematic, and hiding and feeding Harry Peabody in their attic is just as tricky. This is a pleasant story with dark illustrations that will probably appeal to the intended audience.
Theseus And The Minotaur
TOON BOOKS [TOON BOOKS]
Pommaux, Yvan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 22, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
From the beautifully-designed map endpapers to the detailed and exquisite interior illustrations, this book does just what it says it does--it provides a tool for visual readers to learn and gain insights into the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur, and the stories that surround it. The clear and evocative text, translated from the French, tells the tale of a young woman loved by both a god and a king, resulting in the birth of an unusually gifted son. Determined to find his heritage, Theseus seeks out his royal father and becomes a pawn in a sacrifice that will almost surely spell his doom. With help, however, he defeats the minotaur and returns home, only to cause the death of his father. The legend is rather convoluted, but the author manages to tell it with clarity, and the illustrations add a whole new level of understanding. Due to subject matter I would probably not put the book in an elementary school library, but it merits a place in secondary schools.
Ninja!
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Chung, Arree
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 22, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
What are the qualities of a ninja? He must have supplies and the right outfit. He must be stealthy and quick. He must accomplish his mission, though danger lurks. Young readers follow a boy as he tries out his ninja skills in his house, earning the wrath of a parent. Passing along his knowledge to a younger sister then becomes his goal. This is an energetic giggle-worthy book with big, bold illustrations that beg to be shared. In a way, its attitude reminds me of "Kel Gilligan." There's great silliness here, and the subject matter is sure to draw in young readers.This is the author/illustrator's first book, and bodes well for his future career.
Little Bear Book
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Browne, Anthony
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 22, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Here's another flight of fancy from Anthony Browne, with illustrations that will bring to mind some of his other books. A white bear with a pencil goes walking through the woods. Each danger he encounters, be it gorilla, crocodile, lion, or elephant, is appeased or repelled when the bear draws a white object for them--a teddy bear, a trumpet, a crown, and a mouse. Finally the bear draws a bear-shaped hole in the wall and walks off into the distance. A tad surreal, the watercolor and ink illustrations are very eye-catching and the book leaves much of the storytelling to the reader's imagination, which seems to be the point. It's as if the author is saying, "here's a pencil, keep drawing."
This Orq. (He Cave Boy.)
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Elliott, David
Nichols, Lori
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 22, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This Orq. He cave boy. He love mammoth, Woma. Woma get big. Orq Mama not like big pet. Cast Woma out. Orq try to make Mama understand. Orq LOVE Woma. Woma save Orq from sabertooth tiger. Now Mama love Woma, too. This is a simple and amusing tale of a pet that doesn't fit the usual guidelines..or the cave, anymore. The simple text is clear and tongue-in-cheek. Lori Nichols' delightful digital and pencil illustrations show the love Orq has for his pet, and carry their own gentle humor. This would be a nice choice for a preschool storytime.
Zombillenium : 2 : Human Resources
Nbm Publishing [Nbm Publishing]
De Pins, Arthur
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 22, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Zombillenium is a monster amusement park with its own branch of Hell in the basement. In this graphic novel a family visits the park. The family, however, has ties to one of the park's residents. It turns out that the mother had an in utero exorcism, abandoning the demon child and later having the human one and raising him as her own. Now the twins are both in the same park. What will happen if they meet? And the locals are getting restless about vampires and ghouls and talking skeletons and are actually getting out the pitchforks and torches. They've kidnapped a skeleton and are using bits of him to infiltrate the park. This can only end badly. This is a fascinating graphic novel with eye-catching digital artwork and a fun, if creepy and slightly disturbing story. The whole idea of monsters trying to reform and having therapy sessions to keep them in line is highly amusing. This is the second Zombillenium book and fans of the first one will want this one as well. While it's not completely inappropriate, this book is clearly aimed for an older audience than the elementary crowd. Put it in secondary.
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Pilkey, Dav
Santat, Dan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 22, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
We all know the classic tale of mouse, Ricky Ricotta, and his giant mighty robot friend. Heaven knows we've purchased, prebound, and mended our multiple copies of this ever-popular story with its book demolishing flip-o-rama pages over the years. So why would you need another copy of this? Because it is now out with new, full-color, 3-D fabulous digital illustrations by the ever popular Dan Santat. The text appears to be the same, though I didn't check it word for word. The new illustrations, however, are amazing. Get the new book prebound, however. (I'd go with BTSB.) You're going to lose some of the picture in the gutter, but the stitched binding will not last as the book, originally published in 2000, finds a new audience.
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. The Mutant Mosquitoes From
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Pilkey, Dav
Santat, Dan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 22, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is, indeed, the classic tale of mouse, Ricky Ricotta, and his giant mighty robot friend as they face the horror of mutant mosquitoes seeking a happier clime than Mercury. I'm sure you've put a roll of tape into your previous copies of this book, especially on the flip-o-rama pages. So why would you need another copy? Because it is now out with new, full-color, 3-D fabulous digital illustrations by the ever popular Dan Santat. The text appears to be the same, though I didn't check it word for word. The new illustrations, however, are amazing. Get the new book prebound, however. (I'd go with BTSB.) You're going to lose some of the picture in the gutter, but the stitched binding will not last as the book, originally published in 2000, finds a new audience.
Frog Who Lost His Underpants
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Maclver, Juliette
Chapman, Cat
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 23, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Froggy lost his underpants. Oh me! Oh my! Searching for the underpants, Frog begins to cry. Teddy helps him look for them. Search high, search low. Looking everywhere that jungle underpants may go. Other critters get involved--where could they be? Did he LOSE his underpants or was it robbery? Problem solved and culprits found but oh my, oh eek! Copycatting frogs abound. Frog's lost his "unique." Can he solve his problem now? Think fast, think slow. Frog has got an answer giggling readers want to know. Bright and happy pictures here. Bouncy rhymes, too. Silly fun for everyone, and thus ends this review.
Bearded Dragons
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Shaffer, Jody Jensen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 24, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Amazing Reptiles" series, this well-bound 48 page books is a highly informative introduction to bearded dragons--lizards native to Australia. Readers learn about their appearance, anatomy, and life cycle, They also learn about the lizards' life style, senses, communication methods, diet, and survival adaptations. Adjusting to habitat, and facing man-made threats, is also covered. Each chapter ends with a chance to examine the data further, with a Common Core focus. This is good nonfiction with well-captioned photographs, charts, labels, fact pages and all the typical nonfiction text features you might expect. Better than that, however, the information is presented in an interesting and compelling way, making this not only a valuable resource for report-writing, but an enjoyable book to read on its own. According to the book, bearded dragons are now more popular than iguanas as reptilian pets, so this might be a book you'll want to have in your library.
Oh So Brave Dragon
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Kirk, David
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 24, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
A brave little dragon is scared of only one thing--that horrible noise that he hears now and then. It seems to coincide with times that he is roaring, but there couldn't be a connection, right? Maybe he should gather all his animal friends around to protect them from whatever monster is making that sound? Then they can be brave together! This is a very simple, sweet story that preschoolers will catch onto immediately. All that roaring would make for a good storytime as well. David Kirk's bright oil illustrations (he's the guy who brought us "Miss Spider") are slightly softened in this gently amusing tale. Unfortunately poor binding limits the number of circulations you could get from this book. Buy it prebound, though you'll lose something in the gutter.
Crocodile Or Alligator?
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Kralovansky, Susan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 24, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Let's face it--it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between two similar things. For example toads/frogs, monkeys/apes, salamander/lizard, etc. In this entry in the "This or That?" series, The author examines the differences between crocodiles and alligators. Crisp color photographs spill across 24 well-bound pages, with fact boxes inserted that provide specific information. Readers learn about appearance, habitat, and life cycle. There's also an "At a Glance" page that places pertinent facts side by side. Unfortunately four of the limited pages are spent on creating straw and paper puppet sof a crocodile and of an alligator which, except for color, are absolutely identical. This seems to defy the entire message of the book. A glossary and table of contents are included. This well-intentioned nonfiction book has many points in its favor, but the 1996 Fowler book "Gator or Croc" is a better choice despite this book's slightly larger format.
Very Cranky Bear
ORCHARD BOOKS [ORCHARD BOOKS]
Bland, Nick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 24, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
You have to love the cover of this book that is dominated by a clearly put-out bear. It gives young readers a good clue about what they are going to face when they open the book. Four friends--Moose, Lion, Zebra, and Sheep find shelter from the rain in a cave. The first three have outstanding physical features--antlers, mane, stripes. Sheep feels a bit left out. The cave, however, has another occupant who just wants to sleep. Is that too much to ask? Chased into the rain again, the friends consider how to solve the problem. Surely if the bear looked more like them he would be happier, right? Untrue, and the result is an amusing picture. Sheep's fleece helps make a cuddly pillow, so the humble animal solves the problem that the more flamboyant ones cannot. The moral is clear, but the rhyming story is cute and this Australian import, with its imaginative and giggle-worthy illustrations, crosses the ocean well.
Ants
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 24, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kids books are similar in size to Capstone’s A+ series but a notch easier, providing nonfiction at an entry reading level. The large, horizontally oriented book pairs a striking close-up photograph with one to two brief and simple sentences on the facing page. The formulaic chapters identify ants as insects that live almost everywhere and most build nests in the ground. Engaging stock photographs show ants with wings on plants, scurrying at the entrance to their nest, working as a colony and dragging home a large beetle for dinner. Three main body parts are labeled by a superimposed outline on one photograph and photographs of the male, female worker and queen ant clearly show the size differential. Back material includes a Fact page, Glossary with words that are identified in the text, and an Abdo Kids code leading to Abdo created crafts, games, and videos. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Mosquitoes
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 24, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kids books are similar in size to Capstone’s A+ series but a notch easier, providing nonfiction at an entry reading level. The large, horizontally oriented book pairs a striking close-up photograph with one to two brief and simple sentences on the facing page. The minimal text is general, imparting vague bits of information such as mosquitoes live almost everywhere on Earth but are often found near lakes and ponds. The stock photographs show mosquitoes feeding on plants, a frog and skin and include one with labeled body parts. Back material includes a Fact page, Glossary with words that are identified in the text, and an Abdo Kids code leading to Abdo created crafts, games, and videos. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Jessie Elliot Is A Big Chicken
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Gravel, Elise
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 25, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Jessie Elliot is starting high school and she has plenty of worries. Will she be cool? Why was she so mean to that old lady next door? What about that cute guy? It goes on and on. This is book written as a journal with lots of illustrations that have a kid-drawn appeal. The subjects bounce around, trying to follow the thought processes of a teen. At times humorous, at times thoughtful, at times worried, the book keeps readers guessing. Is there a plot? Not really, but there are a few threads that weave through the book. The bigger question is the audience. Clearly this is aimed at secondary, but both the cover and the reading level are for a much much younger audience. I would not, however, place it in an elementary school. This is a random bit of fluff that needs a particular audience to truly enjoy it.
Birdy Snatchers
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Marko, Cyndi
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 26, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Gordon Blue is a second grade chicken with a secret identity--Kung Pow Chicken. Along with his sidekick and younger brother, Egg Drop, he battles evil villains. This is book #3 in the series. An evil genius, Birdbrain, is sucking the intelligence out of smart brains and turning folks into fowl zombies. Can our superhero save the day? Is there any doubt? Well, yes, but the help of a female wanna-be hero pushes things over the top. This is silly and mindless entertainment in a short chapter format with tons of color illustrations. It's not a first purchase, but it will appeal to the same crowd who like "Hot Dog and Bob."
Scream Street : Attack Of The Trolls
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Donbavand, Tommy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 27, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Sure, Luke and his friends got all the relics to open the doorway so Luke and his family could leave Scream Street. Unfortunately they decided to stay and the doorway is still open. Now the open doorway is allowing the evil Sir Otto to treat Scream Street like a freak show--charging "normals" to visit the place where vampires, ghouls, and zombies, etc. roam. There's no privacy. Their lives are a peep show. Luke, sorta-vampire Resus, and Cleo the mummy decide to try and return the relics in the hope that action will close the door. First--find the vampire and return his fang. Unfortunately he's moved off Scream Street and they really hadn't figured on getting captured by trolls as a side trip on their daring quest. This is another fun, slightly scary adventure that will appeal to fans of the humorously macabre.
Bird-Eating Spiders
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Archer, Claire
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 28, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Arachnaphobes beware! Magnified close-up photographs of spiders showing the tiniest hairs on each jointed leg grace the covers of these very basic entry-level Abdo Kids books. The Spider series includes Black Widow, Jumping, Tarantula, Trapdoor, Wolf and Bird-eating spiders. Large horizontally oriented books pair a striking close-up photograph with one to two brief sentences on the facing page. The formulaic chapters provide minimal information but the stock photos are magnificent. Bird-eating spiders are tarantulas that are most often found in swamps or forests and live in burrows and under plants and leaf litter. Despite their name, birds are a rare treat, yet Bird-eating spiders are known to eat lizards, snakes and frogs. The Goliath bird-eating spider is the largest spider but the book neglects to say how large or use a photograph with an object of known size for comparison. Back material includes a Fact page telling readers that Bird-eating spiders can live up to 25 years and hunt by vibrations. Also included are a glossary with words that are identified in the text, and an Abdo Kids code to games and more information. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Wolf Spiders
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Archer, Claire
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 28, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Arachnaphobes beware! Magnified close-up photographs of spiders showing the tiniest hairs on each jointed leg grace the covers of these very basic entry-level Abdo Kids books. Large horizontally oriented books pair a striking close-up photograph with one to two brief sentences on the facing page. The formulaic chapters provide minimal information but the stock photos are magnificent. Wolf spiders usually live in grasslands and meadows and hunt mostly at night. Descriptions of how they hunt and bear their young are accompanied by a photo of an insect wrapped in translucent threads and one of a female with large egg sac and with hundreds of babies on her back. Back material includes a Fact page telling readers that Wolf spiders are the only spiders to carry their young on their back. A glossary with six vocabulary words, and an Abdo Kids code for more information and games are included. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Muckers
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Wallace, Sandra Neil
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 28, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Red lives in a small Arizona town, one that will soon be just about shut down because the copper has been all been taken from the mine. This is the last year the town's high school will exist, making the final football season extra special. The Muckers don't have money for fancy equipment but they are tenacious, going the extra mile at practice to be the best at their sport. As the Muckers' quarterback, Red feels the weight on his shoulders; can he encourage his teammates to continue fighting their way into the win column? Add to that the racial tension in town--Red's best friend is Mexican American and Red has feelings for that young man's sister. Mexicans live in a different part of town from the rest of the town residents so hiding from everyone while feeling the bloom of young love is difficult. Red's family is almost in crisis mode--moving away, Red getting ready for college, the entire family still grieving the loss of Red's older brother a few years early at Iwo Jima. Based on the true story. An engaging story that unfortunately might be a tough sell to teens due to the timeframe in which the story is set.
Scream Street : Invasion Of The Normals
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Donbavand, Tommy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 28, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! You thought the "Scream Street" series was over when Luke and his pals located all the stuff they needed to open the doorway back into the real world. Luke and his family were supposed to cross over and then everything would go back to normal. Luke's family's decision to stay on Scream Street, however, has resulted in an unusual problem. The doorway is open and now Sir Otis has turned the place into a tourist attraction--charging normal humans big bucks to come and observe the mummies, vampires, ghouls, zombies, and other scary folks who consider Scream Street their home. Now their home is a peep show and they are not safe. The doorway must be closed, but how? Werewolf Luke, along with his mummy friend Cleo, and his pseudo-vampire friend, Resus, need to find a way. Oh, and Luke discovers out an unfortunate truth about his mother. This is a fun series and one can hardly blame the author for wanting to continue it. Fans of the firt books will want these.
Dragonflies
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 29, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
For Grades K-2 readers this new ABDO Kids series features insects, in this case dragonflies. The close-up color photos are spectacular and the strength of this book. The text is somewhat general, but the beginning readers will not notice. They will enjoy the diagram with the three main body parts clearly outlined and labeled--head, thorax, and abdomen. Twelve pages introduce dragonflies, and then two double page spreads touch on hunting and food. The "chapter" "Dragonflies Help the Earth" was a stretch as in two sentences it states how they are food for many animals. All of the desired nonfiction text features from table of contents to index are included in the24 pages ending with an abdokids.com website with access code for games, crafts, videos, and more. Others in this series are Ants, Bees, Beetles, Butterflies and Mosquitoes, all equally as stunning in photography.
Scarecrows' Wedding
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Donaldson, Julia
Scheffler, Alex
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 29, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This fun, rhyming story is richly illustrated to match the warmth of the season and the characters--two scarecrows Harry O'Hay and Betty O'Barley, who love each other and plan their wedding. After making a list, with the help of their animal friends they have everything on it except lots of pink flowers. A bee comes to the rescue to lead Harry to a field of flowers that is many hours away, but then he needs water to keep them fresh. A toad leads him up a steep hill where they sleep for the night. An even slower slug helps him find a pail. While Harry is gone the farmer replaces him with a new scarecrow, Reginald Rake, who matches his name with his smooth talking over confidence. He assumes he can sweep Betty off her feet, but she's loyal to her guy Harry. Reginald proves his true colors after his carelessness starts a fire surrounding Betty, and he saves himself, not her. Fortunately her true love is also her hero and saves the day. This is a nice "marriage" of text, illustrations and a feel-good story. The children like the happy ending and how all of the animals contribute.
Burn Bright
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Frenette, Bethany
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 29, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is the second book in the "Dark Star" series. Teenager Audrey is still dealing with being a member of the Kin--people often endowed with special powers who came from the same realm as demons, but did a better job in the transition. Demons, naturally, are not happy about being trapped below, and rise up into our world whenever possible. Audrey's mother is the equivalent of a superhero, who fights the demons. Her sidekick is a hunky fellow who can teleport as well as fight. Audrey's talent lies in "knowing" things and people. Now a demon is trying to lead a demon army to take over the world, and she's having a measure of success with her strategy. Audrey can't really follow her mother's instructions and puts herself at risk, and a new Guardian set on revenge has arrived in the city. Oh, and unfortunate truths are revealed about both of Audrey's best friends. This is a fun series full of teen angst, with a female protagonist who can be a little snarky at times. Naturally this book sets us up for a sequel, although it does neatly tie up a plot element from the first book. It's a nice change from vampires.
SUMMER ON THE MOON
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
FOGELIN, ADRIAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 30, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
When Socko's hard-pressed mom Delia cuts a deal to serve as caretaker of her cantankerous grandfather "the General" a whole lot changes. Leaving their gang-infested public housing and a tough middle school neighborhood for a new home in Moon Ridge Estates half-built housing development, Socko's still gotta cope with troubles his mom hoped they've left behind. There still is the problem of food, they mostly get by on left-overs from Delia's job at a burger joint. He's got to pass daily muster with his stubborn, wheelchair bound great grandfather who sends him out to reconnoiter the eerily vacant new Moon Ridge landscape whose only other inhabitant is the project's developer, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Worst of all Socko worries how Damien, his friend back in the projects is falling under the influence of Rapp's no-good gang.Troubles build to a dramatic climax when Socko tries to help, only bringing Rapp crashing into Moon Ridge Estates, hell bent on vengeance. Gripping YA fiction of tough choices in tough times. Kirkus reviews Feb. 15th, 2012 https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/adrian-fogelin/summer-moon-fogelin/ and a JLG selection.